Pennsylvania Commonwealth Bureaucracy

Pennsylvania Commonwealth bureaucracy is truly amazing. The Department of Revenue just issued a regulation on the application of realty transfer taxes found here. Among other changes, the regulation provides clarification that a transfer to a revocable living trust for estate-planning purposes is generally not taxed, which was essentially true before the regulation was issued. No big change, then.

The prefatory material to this 67-page regulation include the following queries and responses:

Q – If data is the basis for this regulation, please provide a description of the data.

R – No scientific data, studies or references are used to justify this regulation.

Q – Describe who and how many people will be adversely affected by the regulation.

R – No parties should be adversely affected by the regulation.

Q – List the persons, groups or entities that will be required to comply with the regulation.

R – Any entity transferring an interest in real property will be required to comply with the regulation.

Q – Approximate the number of people who will be required to comply.

R – The approximate number of people is indeterminable.

Q – Provide a specific estimate of the costs and/or savings to the regulated community associated with compliance, including any legal, accounting or consulting procedures which may be required.

R – This regulation does not increase costs or savings to the regulated community. No legal, accounting or consulting procedures are required by this regulation.

Q – Provide a specific estimate of the costs and/or savings to local governments associated with
compliance.

R – This regulation does not increase costs or savings to the local governments. No legal, accounting or consulting procedures are required by this regulation.

Q – Provide a specific estimate of the costs and/or savings to state government associated with the implementation of the regulation.

R – This regulation does not increase costs or savings to state government. No legal, accounting or consulting procedures are required by this regulation.

According to the Department of Revenue, who should know, the regulation is not based on any scientific or data analysis. It affects anyone who transfers real estate, but no one is adversely affected. It costs nothing and provides no fiscal benefit.

Assuming that all of the above is true, what is the point of promulgating the regulation? It is a lot of work to create a regulation that has no effect on anything. This is a bureaucratic masterpiece. If there were a Nobel Prize for government official self abuse, the author of this regulation would get the award.

 

John B. Payne, Attorney
Garrison LawHouse, PC
Dearborn, Michigan 313.563.4900
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 800.220.7200
law-business.com
 
©2011 John B. Payne, Attorney
 
 
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