Mixed-Use Housing Is Exempt 

Tax Alert

December 15, 2014

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 (Pa. Commw. Nov. 12, 2014). The Reading Housing Authority owned and operated a mixed-use housing project known as a 20-80 project. Twenty percent of the units were set aside for low income persons. The balance were rented at commercial rates. Mixed-use projects were expressly authorized by a recent amendment to Pennsylvania’s Housing Authority Law. 35 P.S. § 1543(1.1). Such projects were permitted because the General Assembly concluded that mixed-use projects were more conducive to a stable and successful community than purely low income projects. Since the mixed-use project was expressly authorized as a purpose of the Housing Authority, it was entitled to exemption. The court distinguished Southeast Pennsylvania Transportation Authority v. Board of Revision of Taxes, 777 A.2d 1234 (Pa. Commw. 2001), where property owned by SEPTA and leased to commercial tenants was not exempt, because the renting of commercial properties was not within the general purposes of the agency. 


Joseph C. Bright



(215) 665-2053

Dan A. Schulder



(717) 703-5905

Cheryl A. Upham



(215) 665-4193

Related Practices

To discuss any questions you may have regarding the opinion discussed in this Alert, or how it may apply to your particular circumstances, please contact: Joseph C. Bright at jbright@cozen.com or 215.665.2053, Dan A. Schulder at dschulder@cozen.com or 717.703.5905 or Cheryl A. Upham at cupham@cozen.com or 215.665.4193.