Uniontown school board agrees to settle with auto dealership
A proposal to settle a mercantile-tax dispute between the Uniontown Area School District and an auto dealer could put $100,000 into the district's coffers.
The school board on Monday agreed to the settlement proposal with Autoland Hyundai and its owner, Christopher Parker.
The money is for unpaid mercantile taxes the district claims it's owed.
The plan stipulates that both sides discontinue litigation.
Parker did not return a call seeking comment. His attorney, Simon John of Uniontown, declined comment. Sam Davis, solicitor for the school board, did not return calls seeking comment.
According to court documents, the district has attempted to collect the money since 1996. It claims the auto dealer failed to pay a 1.5 percent mercantile tax from 1996 through 2012.
The mercantile tax was adopted by the district in 1970, the documents show.
The case has been in civil court since 1997, when Parker appealed a tax-hearing officer's finding that he owed the tax.
Parker had argued during the hearing that the tax was unfair and unconstitutional.
According to a transcript of the hearing, Parker argued that the tax was unfair because his profit margin on sales are less than that of other retailers. He noted that while he might make a $500 profit on a $19,500 automobile, other retailers with a 100 percent markup would make $10,000 on a $20,000 sale.
The board agreed to the settlement proposal as the case was about to go to trial, according to court records.
Liz Zemba is a reporter for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-601-2166 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments â either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.