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 property was approximately 229 acres formerly used for the manufacture of munitions and certain other industrial activities. The property had significant continuing environmental problems. The Commonwealth Court reversed for several reasons. The trial court did not correctly apply the applicable section of the assessment law regarding the common level ratio to be applied in tax appeals. The trial court approved a percentage discount to what would otherwise be the value of the real estate based on what the panel categorized essentially a guess on the part of the appraiser as to the impact of the environmental problems on market value. The appraiser improperly valued the property based on judgments about whether the property could be subdivided and what it could be converted into. Citing prior cases, the panel held that the property must be valued as is, not with respect to a conjectural value after subdivision and improvement. A dissent would have affirmed on the grounds that it was within the purview of the trial court to make judgments on the appraiser’s treatment of the environmental and future use issues.


Written by:

Published In:


DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© Cozen O'Connor | Attorney Advertising

Don't miss a thing! Build a custom news brief:

Read fresh new writing on compliance, cybersecurity, Dodd-Frank, whistleblowers, social media, hiring & firing, patent reform, the NLRB, Obamacare, the SEC…

…or whatever matters the most to you. Follow authors, firms, and topics on JD Supra.

Create your news brief now - it's free and easy »

All the intelligence you need, in one easy email:

Great! Your first step to building an email digest of JD Supra authors and topics. Log in with LinkedIn so we can start sending your digest...

Sign up for your custom alerts now, using LinkedIn ›

* With LinkedIn, you don't need to create a separate login to manage your free JD Supra account, and we can make suggestions based on your needs and interests. We will not post anything on LinkedIn in your name.