This week the “Group of 8” represented by Attorney John McGovern have filed a mandamus action against the Scranton government. Wikipedia defines a mandamus as:
is a judicial remedy in the form of an order from a superior court, to any government subordinate court, corporation, or public authority—to do (or forbear from doing) some specific act which that body is obliged under law to do (or refrain from doing)—and which is in the nature of public duty, and in certain cases one of a statutory duty. It cannot be issued to compel an authority to do something against statutory provision. For example, it cannot be used to force a lower court to reject or authorize applications that have been made, but if the court refuses to rule one way or the other then a mandamus can be used to order the court to rule on the applications.
This case asks the court to force the Scranton government to obey the law regarding the cap established by State Ordinance Act 511. Act 511 institutes a cap on the amount of taxes that can be collected on the local level(here). The cap is based on the value of all the property in the municipality multiplied by 12 mills(a mill is 1 of 1000 or .1%). According to our analysis, the Scranton’s cap approx 27 million dollars and has been collecting taxes on the local level in excess of this cap for years.The Mandamus would force the Scranton government to bring down local taxes so that the total is at the legal limit.
The case is outlined below: