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Farry Takes Lead on Major Legislation - Pension forfeiture and Sterling Act bills reintroduced
LANGHORNE – State Rep. Frank Farry (R-Bucks) has taken the lead on key pieces of legislation, sponsored by former Rep. Scott Petri prior to his resignation from the state House of Representatives in late 2017.

Two of the measures (House Bills 1312 and 1314) modify Depression-era legislation known as the Sterling Act, which grants the city of Philadelphia authority to impose and collect a city wage tax on non-residents who work in Philadelphia.

However, unlike local taxes in surrounding jurisdictions, none of the non-resident city wage tax is returned to the non-resident’s home municipality or school district.
Farry’s bills would allow other municipalities to receive a share of the wage taxes collected from non-residents who work in the city of Philadelphia.

“Local municipalities, like Middletown, Upper and Lower Southampton, where many commuters live are losing significant tax revenue to support their police, fire, EMS and local government operations,” Farry said. “These bills would correct the tax disparity by requiring Philadelphia to reimburse surrounding communities for their fair share of the city wage tax.”

According to data from Keystone Collections Group, Middletown Township would receive approximately $8.9 million annually in revenue, Upper Southampton Township would receive $4.9 million annually, and Lower Southampton Township would receive $6.3 million annually, if Farry’s bill became law.

The second proposal, House Bill 939, would require pension forfeiture if a public employee or public official is convicted or pleads guilty or no defense to any felony offense in addition to those crimes already listed in Act 140. The bill would also impact federal crimes that are classified as felonies or are punishable by a term of at least five years in prison.

Currently, the Public Employee Pension Forfeiture Act does not prevent public employees or public officials who are charged with a forfeiture crime from pleading to an offense that does not trigger pension forfeiture.

“Public officials would not be able to avoid losing their taxpayer-paid pension by pleading guilty to a lesser crime as we have seen in some high-profile cases over time,” Farry said. “Unfortunately, Pennsylvania has a long history of public corruption, and we need to ensure our laws do not allow offenders to evade the consequences of their crimes.”

House Bill 939 was approved by the House last May and is awaiting consideration by the Senate Finance Committee. House Bills 1312 and 1314 are awaiting consideration by the House Finance Committee.

Petri stepped down as state representative in December to become the executive director of the Philadelphia Parking Authority (PPA).

Representative Frank Farry
142nd District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: Abbey Haslam

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