First Class Township Code Legislation

First Class Township Code Rewrite

Over the last several years, township commissioners, managers and solicitors from PSATC’s three regions have worked with staff of the Local Government Commission and the League to review and update the language of the Code. At the end of 2018, all first class townships were provided the opportunity to review and comment on the draft. The draft was then sent to the Legislative Reference Bureau to be formatted into a bill. 

Once again, the draft is being provided to all first class townships for review and comment. Comments are requested in writing by Monday, September 16 to Amy Sturges, Director of Governmental Affairs, at asturges@pml.org

Introduction of the bill is slated for November 2019 with the goal of final passage before the legislative session ends on November 30, 2020.

Please find the Executive Summary of the changes to the Code here.

Please find the draft proposal herePlease note:  underlined language is new or being placed in a new location; the gray highlighted language will be removed. 

Questions can be directed to Amy at the email above.

Legislation of Interest

Storm Water Management Fees Authorized

House Bill 473 (PN 458), introduced by Representative Garth Everett, amends the First Class Township Code to allow political subdivisions to plan, design, alter, build, purchase, install or assemble storm water facilities. Each municipality must enact an ordinance to govern and regulate storm water management.

All political subdivisions are authorized to assess reasonable and uniform fees on properties to pay for storm water management activities. Fees may be based on the characteristics of the property receiving the benefit, exemptions and credits for installed, maintained facilities that meet best practice standards. Fees levied by a local government may be assessed in one of the following ways:

  • On all properties in a municipality.
  • On all properties receiving a benefit by a specific project.
  • By establishing storm water management districts and assessing a fee on those property owners within the designated district.

Any fees collected may only be used for the purposes authorized by this legislation. Fees will be paid as specified by the local ordinance.

If enacted, this legislation will take effect in 60 days.

Location:  House Local Government Committee, February 12, 2019

Legislation Enacted

Act 50 of 2019 – House Bill 547 (PN 0886)

Signed: July 2, 2019 Effective: 60 days

Act 50 of 2019 amends the First Class Township Code to allow for the levy of Real Property Taxes by a resolution if the tax rate is levied at the same rate or at a lower rate than the previous year. An ordinance would be required if there is a rate increase. Resolutions providing for a tax levy must be recorded in the municipality’s ordinance book in the same manner as a tax ordinance.

Act 136 of 2018 – Senate Bill 772 (PN 970)

Signed: October 24, 2018 Effective: 60 Days

Act 136 of 2018 amends the First Class Township Code providing for concise publication in a newspaper of general circulation, the required annual financial reporting information approved by municipal auditors. The information published must be consistent with the audited statements for a municipality’s total assets, total liabilities and total net position at the end of the fiscal year; as well as total revenue, total expenses and changes in total net position for that fiscal year.

Act 141 of 2018 – Senate Bill 802 (PN 1013)

Signed: October 24, 2018 Effective: 60 Days

Act 141 amends the First Class Township Code allowing local governments to purchase used equipment, articles, apparatus, appliances, vehicles and parts of vehicles or any other personal property from a volunteer fire company, volunteer ambulance service or volunteer rescue squad without utilizing the bidding process as currently required by the law.

Act 151 of 2018 – Senate Bill 948 (PN 1331)

Signed: October 24, 2018 Effective: 60 Days

Act 151 amends the First Class Township Code increasing the dollar threshold for the sale of municipal property without the need to publicly advertise for bids, from $1,000 to $2,000.