Cozen O’Connor: Attorney’s Fees Collectable in Tax Sale [Tax Alert]

Attorney’s Fees Collectable in Tax Sale

Tax Alert

June 16, 2015

A panel of The Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania held that attorney’s fees are collectable in a tax sale, notwithstanding that Act 2003-20, which authorized the collection of reasonable attorney’s fees, was retroactive to 1996. Iacurci v. County of Allegheny, No. 1886 C.D. 2014 (Pa. Commw. May 14, 2014). In 1996, the General Assembly amended the Municipal Claims and Tax Lien Act to authorize the collection of reasonable attorney’s fees for municipal claims. However, the expanded authorization did not extend to the collection of municipal taxes. Pentlong Corp. v. GLS Capital, Inc., 820 A.2d 1240 (Pa. 2003). Act 2003-20 extended the authority to tax liens, retroactively. The Commonwealth Court held that Act 2003-20 did not impose new taxes; it authorized additional costs of collection. Thus, cases limiting retroactive taxation were not applicable. Neither did the Act constitute a violation of due process nor an unjust taking of property.  


Authors

Joseph C. Bright

Member

jbright@cozen.com

(215) 665-2053

Dan A. Schulder

Member

dschulder@cozen.com

(717) 703-5905

Cheryl A. Upham

Member

cupham@cozen.com

(215) 665-4193

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To discuss any questions you may have regarding the opinion discussed in this Alert, or how it may apply to your particular circumstances, please contact: Joseph C. Bright at jbright@cozen.com or 215.665.2053, Dan A. Schulder at dschulder@cozen.com or 717.703.5905, Cheryl A. Upham at cupham@cozen.com or 215.665.4193 or Jaime Reichardt atjreichardt@cozen.com or 215.665.3729.