Legislative Alert: Senate Bill 76 Would Impose a Sales Tax on Most Legal Services in Pennsylvania

Metzger Wickersham has been closely following Senate Bill 76, a “tax reform” bill which passed the Senate Finance Committee on Tuesday, September 16, 2014. SB 76, known as the Property Tax Independence Act, proposes to eliminate school property taxes in Pennsylvania. However, the elimination of school tax would be replaced by increased state personal income tax, increased sales tax, and new sales tax on certain services and products that are not currently taxed.

Among other items, Senate Bill 76 would impose a sales tax on most legal services, including legal services provided on a contingency fee basis. Legal services provided in relation to family law matters and criminal matters would be the only services excluded from this tax.

This kind of bill seems to get proposed every few years, but this is the furthest this type of legislation has ever progressed in the Senate. As lawyers who represent injured workers, disabled individuals, and accident victims hurt as a result of negligence, we are strongly opposed to SB 76. We are working to let legislators know that we oppose this tax for the following reasons:

  • For most folks, hiring a lawyer is a necessity and not a non-essential service.
  • Access to justice is a basic constitutional right, and justice should not be treated as a commodity.
  • Legal representation is often needed most by those with lower and moderate incomes, including seniors on fixed incomes. For example, representation is often necessary to obtain wrongly denied workers’ compensation or Social Security benefits, have a will written, or avoid a home foreclosure.

The biggest impact of this tax would be felt by our clients, because the state would ultimately be taking money out of a client’s settlement or award. Please help us protect the interests of our clients and the legal profession. Take a moment to email your state Senator and express your opposition of SB 76. Even a short message is effective. Click here to find your senator. Click here to find your senator’s email or mailing address.

Source: Pennsylvania Bar Association

UPDATE 10/16/14: The bill died one vote shy in the Senate Appropriations Committee and must be introduced next session as a new bill.

    Had a great experience with these awesome people

    “Had a great experience with these awesome people. Their job was done promoting well and they got me way more than I could have imagined. I would Highly recommend.”

    - Michael C.
    Great Attorneys!

    “Great Attorneys”

    - David Stephens
    Always courteous and kept me informed and up to date on the whole process

    “My experience with M&W was made very painless by [Attorney] Lori & [Paralegal] Judy from the Hbg office!”

    - Kenneth Williams
    I would recommend these people to anyone.

    “The lawyers at this office and their staff, Mr. [Attorney] DeVere and [Paralegal] Stephanie, his assistant, became the voice I didn’t have after the accident. They were my points of light.”

    - Ms. D. Lopez
    I would recommend Metzger Wickersham to everyone.

    “You guys were so easy to work with. There was no stress and the whole process was done in a timely manner. I would recommend Metzger Wickersham to everyone. Such a pleasure.”

    - Sharon Balent
    You guys are absolutely amazing and that’s an understatement.

    “Attorney Painter was simply amazing...My wife had been fighting SSI for over three years. Since working with Metzger Wickersham her stress and anxiety levels were 100% gone.”

    - Carlos Bonilla
    Outstanding in every way

    “Outstanding in every way no one has ever helped me more in my entire life like this firm. I highly recommend. Thank you very much.”

    - Gary Klinger
    Absolutely wonderful!

    “They helped me with my case on a motor vehicle accident. They were kind, understanding, professional, and got the job done. They explained things, talked me through stuff, and answered any questions I had!”

    - Ms. Brianna Marquis
    Thank you for going that extra mile.

    “I wanted to thank Valerie for all her hard work and going that extra mile for me! I was denied twice, Valerie appealed my case to the Appeals court. Thanks to Valerie, my case was finally won after ...”

    - Joanne Brenizer
    They made everything stress free.

    “They handle everything from the day you call, strongly recommend this office in particular. They made everything stress free and worked hard to get me what I deserved.”

    - Alexia Brodbeck

Let Us Fight For You

Request a Free Consultation
  • Please enter your first name.
  • Please enter your last name.
  • Please enter your phone number.
    This isn't a valid phone number.
  • Please enter your email address.
    This isn't a valid email address.
  • Please make a selection.
  • Please enter a message.