Farmstead Valued at Current Market Value [Tax Alert!]

A panel of the Commonwealth Court held that farmstead property located in a tract that was given preferential assessment as forest reserve was correctly valued at current market value after application of the common level ratio factor. Blair v. Berks County Board of Assessment Appeals, No. 1310 C.D. (Pa. Commw. May 3, 2011). The court held that the Clean and Green Act requires that a farmstead located in forest reserve property be valued at current market value. 72 P.S. §5490.4(b). The Court added that the trial court correctly applied the common level ratio factor to the current market value in order to avoid an assessment at current market value without an adjustment that would achieve uniformity with other county assessments. The court added that, in a case in which a court is required to find the current market value of farmstead property, the contributory value of farm buildings on the farmstead is correctly calculated by subtracting an appraisal of the property with no improvements from an appraisal including the farm buildings.

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Joseph C. Bright


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