Borough’s Stormwater Management Charge Ruled a Tax  

In Borough of West Chester v. Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education, No. 260 M.D. 2018, 2023 WL 27942 (Pa.Cmwlth. Jan. 4, 2023), the Commonwealth Court ruled that a stormwater management charge imposed by a borough on all developed properties was not enforceable against West Chester University or the State System of Higher Education because it is a tax, not a fee, and those entities are immune from taxes.  

The Borough of West Chester is a home rule municipality and levied its fee under the Home Rule Charter and Optional Plans Law, which does not have specific language on stormwater fees. The court did not consider the specific stormwater fee language in the Second Class Township Code or the Municipalities Authorities Act as part of its decision. 

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