(1) The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has enacted the Pennsylvania Intergovernmental Cooperation Authority Act for Cities of the First Class (Act of June 5, 1991, P.L. 9, No. 6).
(2) The Act declares it to be the public policy of the Commonwealth to exercise its retained sovereign powers with regard to taxation, debt issuance and matters of State-wide concern in a manner calculated to foster the fiscal integrity of cities of the first class to assure that these cities provide for the health, safety and welfare of their citizens; pay principal and interest owed on their debt obligations when due; meet financial obligations to their employees, vendors and suppliers; and provide for proper financial planning procedures and budgeting practices. The inability of a city of the first class to provide essential services to its citizens as a result of a fiscal emergency has been determined to affect adversely the health, safety and welfare not only of the citizens of that municipality but also of other citizens in this Commonwealth.
(3) The stated intent of the General Assembly for enacting the Act is to:
(a) provide cities of the first class with the legal tools with which cities of the first class can eliminate deficits that render them unable to perform essential municipal services;
(b) create an authority that will enable cities of the first class to access capital markets for deficit elimination and seasonal borrowings to avoid default on existing obligations and chronic cash shortages that will disrupt the delivery of municipal services;
(c) foster sound financial planning and budgetary practices that will address the underlying problems which result in such deficits; and
(d) exercise its powers consistent with the rights of citizens to home rule and self government by maintaining a system pursuant to which the principal responsibility for conducting the governmental affairs of a municipality remains with its local elected officials;
(e) remedy the fiscal emergency confronting cities of the first class through the implementation of sovereign powers of the Commonwealth with respect to taxation, indebtedness and matters of State-wide concern. To safeguard the rights of the citizens to the electoral process and home rule, the General Assembly intends to exercise its power in a cooperative manner with the elected officers of cities of the first class as contemplated by the Constitution of Pennsylvania;
(f) authorize the imposition of a tax or taxes to provide a source of funding for an intergovernmental cooperation authority to enable it to assist cities of the first class and to incur debt of such authority for such purposes; however, the General Assembly intends that such debt shall not be a debt or liability of the Commonwealth or a city of the first class nor shall debt of the authority payable from and secured by such source of funding create a charge directly or indirectly against revenues of the Commonwealth or a city of the first class.
(4) In enacting the Act the General Assembly of the Commonwealth inter alia found:
(a) That cities of the first class have encountered recurring financial difficulties which may affect the performance of necessary municipal services to the detriment of the health, safety and general welfare of residents of such cities.
(b) That the financial difficulties have caused cities of the first class to lose an investment-grade credit rating and direct access to capital markets.
(c) That it is critically important that cities of the first class achieve an investment-grade credit rating and thereafter maintain their credit-worthiness.
(d) That, without the ability to enter the capital markets, cities of the first class may face a fiscal emergency that could render them unable to pay their obligations when due and deliver essential services to their citizens.
(e) That, due to the economic and social interrelationship among all citizens in our economy, the fiscal integrity of cities of the first class is a matter of concern to residents of the entire Commonwealth, and the financial problems of such cities have a direct and negative effect on the entire Commonwealth.
(f) That, because cities of the first class consume a substantial proportion of the products of Pennsylvania's farms, factories, manufacturing plants and service enterprises, economic difficulties confronting cities of the first class detrimentally affect the economy of the Commonwealth as a whole and become a matter of State-wide concern.
(g) That, because residents of cities of the first class contribute a substantial proportion of all Commonwealth tax revenues, a disruption of the economic and social life of such cities may have a significant detrimental effect upon Commonwealth revenues.
(h) That, cities of the first class and the Commonwealth have shown a willingness to cooperate in order to address important financial and budgetary concerns.
(i) That, the financial difficulties of cities of the first class can best be addressed and resolved by cooperation between governmental entities.
(j) That, the Constitution of Pennsylvania grants municipalities authority to cooperate with other governmental entities in the exercise of any function or responsibility.
(k) That, the Commonwealth retains certain sovereign powers with respect to cities of the first class, among them the powers to authorize and levy taxes, to authorize the incurring of indebtedness and to provide financial assistance that may be necessary to assist cities in solving their financial problems.
(l) That, the Commonwealth may attach conditions to grants of authority to incur indebtedness or assistance to cities of the first class in order to ensure that deficits are eliminated and access to capital markets is achieved and maintained.
(m) That, such conditions shall be incorporated into intergovernmental cooperation agreements between the Commonwealth or its instrumentalities and cities of the first class.
(n) That, cities of the first class and the Commonwealth will benefit from the creation of an independent authority composed of members experienced in finance and management which may advise such cities, the General Assembly and the Governor concerning solutions to fiscal problems cities of the first class may face.
(o) That, the creation of such an authority with the power to borrow money and issue bonds in order to assist cities of the first class will allow such cities to continue to provide the necessary municipal services for their residents and to contribute to the economy of the Commonwealth.
(p) That, in order for an authority to effectively assist cities of the first class in financing their cash flow needs and for cities of the first class to be able to cost-effectively finance their cash flow needs during the term of any authority bonds and thereafter, the enactment of certain provisions of law in connection with the issuance of tax and revenue anticipation notes of cities of the first class is necessary and desirable.
(q) That, a dedicated source of funding for the authority is necessary in order to address the immediate financial difficulties of cities of the first class.
(r) That, the Commonwealth's action in authorizing cities of the first class to impose taxes for the authority will allow such cities to continue to provide necessary services for their residents and for those non-residents enjoying the benefits of such services.
(s) That, the levy of a tax within cities of the first class for the authority should be authorized by the Commonwealth for the benefit of cities of the first class, with the revenue produced as a result of such levy being Commonwealth-authorized revenues and revenues of a State authority, and not revenues of the city of the first class.
(t) That, the authority to levy a tax only within cities of the first class or at a rate that is higher than that imposed outside cities of the first class is based upon a legitimate classification which the General Assembly deems to be reasonable and just, since the benefit received by taxpayers in cities of the first class as a result of such levy is determined to be in proportion to the tax burden imposed in such cities of the first class.
(u) That, a levy imposed only, or at a higher rate, in cities of the first class will be used to benefit citizens of cities of the first class by providing for their health, safety, convenience and welfare.
(5) City Council further acknowledges that the Act:
(a) Specifically authorizes the imposition and pledge of any combination of the following taxes:
(i) a sale and use and hotel occupancy tax;
(ii) a realty transfer tax such as is now or as may be hereafter enacted for general revenue purposes of the City pursuant to Section 1301(b) of the Act of December 13, 1988 (P.L. 1121, No. 45), known as the Local Tax Reform Act; and
(iii) a tax on salaries, wages, commissions, compensation or other income received or to be received for work done by residents of the City, imposed pursuant to the provisions of the Sterling Act.
(b) Provides that the revenues generated by any such tax are to become the exclusive property of the Pennsylvania Intergovernmental Cooperation Authority (PICA) and shall not be subject to appropriation by City Council or the General Assembly of the Commonwealth.
(c) Provides that the Department of Revenue of the Commonwealth is charged with the administration, enforcement and collection of the tax imposed by this Chapter and if the tax imposed is pursuant to subsections 601(a)(2) or (3) of the Act the administration, enforcement and collection procedures for the taxes and the fines, forfeitures, penalties and interest charges shall be as are specified in this Chapter.
(d) Provides that the Department of Revenue of the Commonwealth is authorized to appoint as its agents, tax officers, clerks, collectors and other assistants, including revenue and legal departments of cities imposing a tax under this Chapter, to collect and enforce any tax, including interest and penalties, imposed under authority of this Chapter; provided, however, that any moneys collected by any such agent shall not be commingled with any other funds of such agent and must be segregated and paid over to the Department of Revenue of the Commonwealth at least monthly.
(e) Provides that the revenues collected by any of the Department of Revenue's agents, tax officers, clerks, collectors and other assistants are to be paid over to the Department of Revenue of the Commonwealth to be deposited by the Treasurer of the Commonwealth in the Pennsylvania Intergovernmental Cooperation Authority Tax Fund.
(f) Provides that the obligees of PICA shall have the right to enforce a pledge of or security interest in revenues of the authority securing payment of bonds of the authority against all government agencies in possession of any such revenues at any time, which revenues may be collected directly from such officials upon notice by such obligees or a trustee for such obligees for application to the payment of such bonds as and when due or for deposits in any sinking, bond or debt service fund established by the Commonwealth or established by resolution of the authority with such trustee at the times and in the amounts specified in such bonds or the resolution or indenture or trust agreement securing such bonds. Any government agency in possession of any such revenues shall make payment against receipt and shall thereby be discharged from any further liability or responsibility for such revenues. If such payment shall be to a holder of bonds, it shall be made against surrender of such bonds to the payor for delivery to the authority in the case of payment in full, otherwise it shall be made against production of such bonds for notation thereon of the amount of the payment. The provisions of this Section with respect to the enforceability and collection of revenues which secure bonds shall supersede any contrary or inconsistent statutory provision or rule of law. This Section shall be construed and applied to fulfill the legislative purpose of clarifying and facilitating the financing of the authority of the costs of assisting a city by assuring to the obligees of the authority the full and immediate benefit of the security for the bonds without delay, diminution or interference based on any statute, decision, ordinance, or administrative rule or practice.