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Commonwealth Court Unanimously Holds that Local Business Privilege Tax Must be Fairly Apportioned

A panel of the Commonwealth Court unanimously held that a local Business Privilege Tax (BPT) imposed on fees paid by Pennsylvania 7-Eleven franchisees to 7-Eleven’s regional office in the township was unconstitutional because...more

Recent Tax Updates from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania

Connect Modem Service Not Taxable - The Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court en banc affirmed a panel decision that service provided by Level 3 Communications to America Online, Inc. constituted internet access service and...more

Net Operating Loss Cap is Unconstitutional

In RB Alden Corp. v. Commonwealth, No. 73 F.R. 2011 (Pa. Commw. June 15, 2016), the court addressed the taxpayer’s liability for 2006 Corporate Net Income (CNI) Tax on gain from the sale of part of its interest in a...more

Group Homes Were Not Charitable

A panel of the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania held that group homes maintained by a nonprofit for persons with intellectual disabilities were not entitled to real estate tax exemptions as charities. ARC Human Services,...more

Failure to File Post-Trial Motions Waives Issues

A panel of the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania held that a taxpayer that did not file post-trial motions waived all issues on appeal. M.C.& P.K. Lees, Inc. v. W.R. Capenos, 215 Pa. Commw. LEXIS 282. The purchaser at a tax...more

Amended Report is Not a Refund Claim

The Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania en banc unanimously held that an amended report filed by a taxpayer could not be considered a petition for a refund of CNI Tax. Quest Diagnostics Venture, LLC v. Commonwealth, No. 782...more

Spot Assessment Stricken

A divided panel of The Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania held that a reassessment of property upon the expiration of a KOZ abatement was an unlawful spot assessment. Duke Energy Fayette II, LLC v. Fayette County Board of...more

Attorney’s Fees Collectable in Tax Sale

A panel of The Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania held that attorney’s fees are collectable in a tax sale, notwithstanding that Act 2003-20, which authorized the collection of reasonable attorney’s fees, was retroactive to...more

Charitable Exemption Begins on Tax Assessment Day

The Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania held that a trial court correctly held that a charitable exemption in Allegheny County begins only on the next assessment day, not when the property was acquired. Global Links v....more

U.S. Supreme Court Holds Maryland Personal Income Tax Unconstitutional Under Commerce Clause

In Comptroller of the Treasury of Maryland v. Wynne, Dkt. No. 13-485 (U.S. May 18, 2015), the U.S. Supreme Court found that Maryland’s system of personal income taxation violated the nondiscrimination prong of the dormant...more

Tax Sale Decisions Continue

The substantial volume of tax sale decisions from appellate courts continues. A tax sale was voided where the tax claim bureau failed to take reasonable steps to notify the owner when service was unsuccessful. 777 L.L.P. v....more

4/17/2015  /  Property Owners , Tax Sale , Voidable

Tax Assessment Appeal Preserved

The Commonwealth Court en banc held that a tax appeal from an interim assessment dated September 27, 2012 was properly preserved, notwithstanding that the taxpayer did not appeal a subsequent assessment that reflected a tax...more

Philadelphia Reduces Requirements for Certifications for Continued Real Estate Tax Exemptions

The Philadelphia Office of Property Assessment (OPA) recently mailed notices to each owner of property listed as tax exempt on the OPA’s records indicating that the owner must file a form to certify that the property...more

Philadelphia Tax Exempt Property Owners Must Reapply for Exemption by March 31, 2015

The Philadelphia Office of Property Assessment (OPA) has begun mailing notices to each owner of property listed as tax exempt on the OPA’s records indicating that the owner must file a form to certify that the property...more

2/24/2015  /  Property Tax , Tax Exemptions

Tax Sale Set Aside

Continuing a line of recent appellate decisions, a panel of the Commonwealth Court set aside a tax sale because the tax claim bureau failed to note in the file additional efforts that it had made to notify the owner. In re:...more

2/20/2015  /  State Taxes , Tax Sale

Tax Sale Voided

A panel of the Commonwealth Court held that a tax sale of owner-occupied property was void because of the failure of the sheriff to include a copy of the notice of the tax sale with affidavits filed in the proceeding....more

2/11/2015  /  Notice Requirements , Tax Sale

Nonresidency Denied

A panel of the Commonwealth Court held that a taxpayer failed to prove that he was a nonresident of Pennsylvania in 2005. Lust v. Commonwealth, No. 645 F.R. 2011 (Pa Commw. Jan. 9, 2015) (unreported). The taxpayer filed...more

No Tax on Subdivision

A panel of the Commonwealth Court held that taxpayers could not be reassessed when they subdivided a parcel into two parcels but retained title. Raup v. Dauphin County Board of Assessment Appeals, No. 237 C.D. 2014 (Pa....more

Mixed-Use Housing Is Exempt

A panel of a Commonwealth Court concluded that a mixed-use housing project owned by municipality was exempt from real estate tax. Reading Housing Authority v. Board of Assessment Appeals of Berks County, No. 1937 C.D. 2013...more

BPT Not Prohibited on Freight Brokerage Services

A divided panel of the Commonwealth Court held that a city was not prohibited from imposing its Business Privilege Tax on the gross receipts of a freight broker. S & H Transport, Inc. v. City of York, No. 165 C. D. 2014 (Pa....more

Portions of Property Exempt for Religious Use

A panel of the Commonwealth Court held that portions of a 45-acre tract were entitled to exemption as places of regularly stated religious worship. Four Quarters Interfaith Sanctuary of Earth Religion v. Medford County Board...more

Tax Sale Invalidated Due to Inadequate Notice

A panel of the Commonwealth Court invalidated a tax sale because the required statutory notice was not given to all owners of a property. In re Consolidated Return of Luzerne County Tax Claim Bureau, Appeal of Jack P....more

9/3/2014  /  Notice Requirements , Tax Sale

Mortgage Holder’s Petition to Set Aside Judicial Tax Sale Rejected

A panel of the Commonwealth Court held that the trial court properly denied a mortgage holder’s petition to set aside the judicial tax sale of a property in Lackawanna County due to alleged improper service of notice and...more

9/3/2014  /  Foreclosure , HSBC , Lenders , Mortgages , Tax Sale

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

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