Cozen O’Connor: Tax Assessment Appeal Preserved [Tax Alert]

Tax Assessment Appeal Preserved

Tax Alert

April 14, 2015

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 abatement under the Local Economic Revitalization Tax Assistance Act (LERTA). 525 Lancaster Ave. Apts., LP v. Berks County Board of Assessment Appeals, No. 2144 C.D. 2013 (Pa. Commw. Mar. 20, 2015). After the September 24, 2012 interim assessment had been appealed, a notice dated January 29, 2013 stated that the taxpayer’s assessment was reduced effective October 1, 2010 to reflect the LERTA tax abatement. The taxpayer did not appeal the January 29 notice. Subsequently, the Board of Assessment Appeals moved to dismiss the taxpayer’s appeal from the September, 2012 assessment on the grounds that the appeal was moot due to the January 29, 2013 reassessment. The court held that the LERTA reassessment did not moot the pending appeal. The LERTA reassessment simply expressed the abatement in the assessment. Thus, the question of valuation, apart from the abatement, was not resolved. The court noted that the assessment statute contemplates the possibility of a valuation appeal as well as an abatement appeal. The court further noted that an assessment appeal automatically incorporates appeals from assessments and subsequent periods. Therefore, the LERTA reassessment was incorporated into the pending valuation appeal and need not be separately appealed.

A dissenting opinion took the position that the majority was incorrectly applying assessment rules to a LERTA assessment.

 


Authors

Joseph C. Bright

Member

jbright@cozen.com

(215) 665-2053

Dan A. Schulder

Member

dschulder@cozen.com

(717) 703-5905

Cheryl A. Upham

Member

cupham@cozen.com

(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.