Cozen O’Connor: Tax Sale Set Aside [Tax Alert]

Tax Sale Set Aside

Tax Alert

February 19, 2015

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: 2013 Perry County Tax Claim Bureau Sale, Appeal of Tufarolo, No. 668 C.D. 2014 (Pa. Commw. Dec. 31, 2014). A certified mailing of notice of tax sale was returned unclaimed. The statue requires that when certified mail notices are returned unclaimed, the bureau must undertake additional notification efforts. 72 P.S. § 5860.607(a). The statute further states that the additional efforts made must be noted in the file, whether or not the efforts were successful in notifying the owner. The lower court found that the failure to make the notes in the file was immaterial as it would not have changed the result. The Commonwealth Court reversed, holding that the requirement was mandatory, regardless of the result of the additional efforts. Therefore, the tax sale was set aside. 


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

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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.