PSATS and other state municipal associations filed an amicus brief in Borough of West Chester v. Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education, No. 9 MAP 2023, asking the Pennsylvania Supreme Court to reverse the Commonwealth Court’s decision that the stormwater management fee imposed by the Borough of West Chester on property owners based on the amount of impervious surface is a “tax.” Exempting state property from paying their share of stormwater management fees places an undue burden on other residents and employers and defeats the purpose of the programs.
This case arose after West Chester University and the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PSSHE) refused to pay the borough’s fee, claiming to be exempt from local taxation as commonwealth entities. The Commonwealth’s opposition to paying any stormwater utility fees while simultaneously administering a stormwater compliance system admonishing the public to pay its fair share is an unjust double standard. PSATS argues that stormwater management fees on developed property are fees (and authorized in the Township Code), and not taxes, and are therefore appropriate, and the Supreme Court should overturn the Commonwealth Court’s decision.
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