Joseph Bright

Joseph Bright

Cozen O'Connor

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Mortgagee Lacks Standing to Appeal

A panel of a Commonwealth Court held that a mortgagee is not an aggrieved party for purposes of standing to take an appeal of the assessment of real property. Mountain Manor Development Company LP v. Monroe County Board of...more

6/30/2014 - Appeals Mortgagee Tax Assessment

Owner Permitted to Redeem Property from Tax Claim Bureau

A panel of the Commonwealth Court held that the Westmoreland Tax Claim Bureau had the discretion under the Real Estate Tax Sale Law (RETSL) to allow an owner of a tax delinquent property (Rowe) to redeem the property through...more

6/30/2014 - Declaratory Judgments Delinquency Status Foreclosure Property Tax Writ of Mandamus

Evidentiary Hearing Required in Upset Tax Sale Challenge

A divided Commonwealth Court panel vacated an order of the Court of Common Pleas of Lackawanna County dismissing a property owner’s (Pascal) set aside petition to void the judicial sale of her property and remanded the case...more

6/30/2014 - Evidentiary Hearings Foreclosure

All Issues Waived on Appeal

A panel of the Commonwealth Court held that a pro se taxpayer waived all issues on appeal because he failed to comply with the lower court’s order directing him to file a statement of matters complained of on appeal. City of...more

6/30/2014 - Appeals

Owner May Appeal Base Year Valuation

A panel of the Commonwealth Court held that an owner of property was entitled to pursue a base year evaluation appeal, notwithstanding that the initial appeal was taken by a school district. Corey v. Washington County Board...more

6/30/2014 - Property Tax Property Valuation

Promotional Expenses Deductible for Gaming Tax

A nearly unanimous Pennsylvania Supreme Court reversed the Commonwealth Court and held that certain promotional expenses were deductible in calculating gross terminal revenue for purposes of the 34 percent Pennsylvania tax on...more

5/9/2014 - Casinos Gaming Reasonable Promotional Expenses Slot Machines

Fuel Tax Assessment Affirmed

The Commonwealth Court affirmed on several grounds an assessment under the Liquid Fuels and Fuels Use Tax Act. Luther P. Miller, Inc. v. Commonwealth, No. 550 F.R. 2009 (Pa. Commw. Mar. 20, 2014). The Department of Revenue...more

4/21/2014 - Fuel Tax Sales & Use Tax

Estates Are Claimants Entitled to Rebates

In a four to three decision, the en banc Commonwealth Court held that a senior citizen’s estate was entitled to a rebate under the Senior Citizens Property Tax and Rent Rebate Assistance Act, 53 P.S. §§ 6926.1301-6926.1313...more

3/28/2014 - Estate Planning Rebates

Permanent Place of Abode Requires Actual Use of Property as Taxpayer’s Residence

The New York Court of Appeals reversed the decision of the Appellate Division of the New York Supreme Court and held that in order for an individual to have a “permanent place of abode” in New York for purposes of determining...more

3/6/2014 - Income Taxes Primary Residence Residency Requirements State Taxes

Retirement Community Qualifies as a Charity

A panel of the Commonwealth Court concluded that a continuing care retirement community qualified as an institution of purely public charity and was therefore exempt from real estate tax, except for a remand regarding...more

2/20/2014 - Charitable Organizations Exempt Organizations Property Tax Retirement

Sales Tax Complaint Remanded

A federal district court remanded to state court an action that made various contractual and consumer oriented claims regarding the collection of sales tax. Farneth v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., 2:3-cv-01062 (W.D.PA. Dec. 30,...more

2/12/2014 - Sales & Use Tax Wal-Mart

Amended Appeals Remedy Procedural Defect

A panel of the Commonwealth Court modified an order of the Monroe County Court of Common Pleas that quashed certain real estate assessment appeals filed on a consolidated basis, but permitted the property owners to file...more

2/12/2014 - Appeals Property Tax Property Valuation

Variations for Bank Shares Tax Valuations Tolerable

A plurality of the full Pennsylvania Supreme Court held that the disparity in valuations that results from the application of the statutory averaging formula for valuations and a combination provision are not...more

1/9/2014 - Bank Taxes Banks Valuation

Assessments Remanded for Findings Re: Obsolescence

A panel of the Commonwealth Court reversed and remanded assessments on a property regarding the impact of obsolescence on the buildings. In re Appeal of Council Rock School District, Appeal of LMC Properties, Inc., No. 354...more

12/5/2013 - Appraisal Property Valuation Tax Assessment

Credits for Overpaid Taxes Affirmed

A divided panel of the Commonwealth Court affirmed a decision below that taxpayers were entitled to credits for overpaid Philadelphia Business Privilege Tax, notwithstanding a three-year limit on the refund of taxes. City of...more

12/5/2013 - Business Taxes Overpayment Statute of Limitations Tax Credits Tax Refunds

Tax Assessment Remanded for Findings

A panel of the Commonwealth Court reversed and remanded for further findings several assessments determined by a trial court. In re appeal of Harley-Davidson Motor Company, No. 159 C.D. 2013 (Pa Commw. Oct. 30, 2013). The...more

12/5/2013 - Environmental Claims Remand Tax Assessment

Girard Estate Is a State Agency Immune From Tax

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court reversed the Commonwealth Court and held that property owned by the Board of City Trusts acting as trustee under the will of Stephen H. Girard was immune from real estate taxation because the...more

11/11/2013 - Estate Planning Estate Tax Tax Exemptions

Business Privilege Tax, Interest and Penalties Sustained

A panel of the Commonwealth Court sustained a decision that upheld the assessment of a township’s business privilege tax, interest and penalties. Whitehall Township Treasurer v. Allentown Power Center, L.P., No. 248 C.D. 2012...more

8/30/2013 - Business Privilege Tax Gross Receipts Interest Rates Penalties

LERTA Attack Dismissed

A panel of the Commonwealth Court held that a taxpayer had standing to challenge a LERTA designation, but the complaint nonetheless was dismissed because it alleged no facts in support of the claim that the property was...more

7/19/2013 - Dismissals Local Taxes Tax Rates

Pa Tax Legislation Will Make Substantial Changes

The Act of July 9, 2013, No. 52 (H.B. 465) and Senate Bill 591 will make substantial changes to Pennsylvania taxes if finally enacted. The bills were part of the budget process. S.B. 591 has passed the House and Senate and...more

7/19/2013 - Corporate Taxes Income Taxes Inheritance Tax Proposed Legislation Sales & Use Tax Tax Reform

Taxpayer Must Prove Change Of Domicile

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court affirmed per curiam a decision that the burden of proving a change of domicile is on the person claiming the change. Hvizdak v. Commonwealth, 92 MAP 2012 (Pa. June 17, 2013) (per curiam), aff’g...more

7/2/2013 - Burden of Proof Domicile Income Taxes Residency Status

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