Refund for Paying Taxes to Which a Political Division Is Not Legally Entitled
In Jordan v. Fayette County Bd. of Assessment Appeals, 782 A.2d 642 (Pa. Cmwlth. 2001), the Court interpreted the Refund Act as providing the following remedies:
Where a taxpayer has paid taxes to which a political division is not entitled, and no other remedy exists, the taxpayer may file a claim for refund of the payment. [Section 1(a),] 72 P.S. 5566b(a).
Upon the filing of such a claim, the political subdivision must refund the taxes to which it is not legally entitled. [Section 1(b),] 72 P.S. 5566b(b).
In the event that the political subdivision refuses to issue a refund, the aggrieved taxpayer has the right to bring suit for the recovery of such taxes. [Section 2,] 72 P.S. 5566c.
We conclude that these statutory remedies adequately address taxpayers' interest in obtaining redress for the payment of excess taxes, and therefore, that the trial court properly sustained the preliminary objection to taxpayers' Section 1983 claim. Jordan, 782 A.2d at 645.
Section 1 of the Refund Act, 72 P.S. 5566b, relevantly provides:
(a) Whenever any person ... of this Commonwealth has paid ... into the treasury of any political subdivision, directly or indirectly ... any taxes of any sort ... or any other moneys to which the political subdivision is not legally entitled; then, in such cases, the proper authorities of the political subdivision, upon the filing with them of a written and verified claim for the refund of the payment, are hereby directed to make, out of budget appropriations of public funds, refund of such taxes ... or other moneys to which the political subdivision is not legally entitled.
Refunds of said moneys shall not be made, unless a written claim therefor is filed, with the political subdivision involved, within three years of payment thereof.
(b) the right to a refund afforded by this act may not be resorted to in any case in which the taxpayer involved had or has available under any other statute, ordinance or resolution, a specific remedy by way of review, appeal, refund or otherwise, for recovery of moneys paid as aforesaid, unless the claim for refund is for the recovery of moneys paid under a provision of a statute, ordinance or resolution subsequently held, by final judgment of a court of competent jurisdiction, to be unconstitutional, or under an interpretation of such provision subsequently held by such court, to be erroneous.
Section 2 of the Refund Act, 72 P.S. 5566c, provides:
In the event of refusal or failure on the part of authorities of the political subdivision involved to make any such refund of taxes, license fees, penalties, fines or other moneys to which the political subdivision is not legally entitled, or refusal or failure to pay interest as required by section 1, then the aggrieved person or corporation shall have the right to bring suit for and recover any such taxes, interest, license fees, penalties, fines or other moneys to which the political subdivision is not legally entitled, subject to the limitation herein provided, by instituting an action in assumpsit in the court of common pleas of the county wherein such political subdivision is located.