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BROOKS BUILDING TAX ASSESSMENT CASE. (01/06/58)

January 6, 1958

BROOKS BUILDING TAX ASSESSMENT CASE.


Appeal, No. 294, Jan T., 1957, from decree of Court of Common Pleas of Luzerne County, Oct. T., 1955, No. 2031, in re appeal of assessment and valuation of real estate of Mitchell Jenkins, trustee, etc. Decree reversed.

COUNSEL

Max Rosenn, with him Rosenn, Jenkins & Greenwald, for appellant.

Peter Paul Olszewski, City Solicitor, with him Albert H. Ashton, for appellee.

Before Jones, C.j., Bell, Chidsey, Musmanno, Arnold, Jones and Cohen, JJ.

Author: Bell

[ 391 Pa. Page 96]

OPINION BY MR. JUSTICE BELL

This appeal involves the just assessment of the premises known as the Brooks Building in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, for the taxable year 1955. The building was purchased on December 30, 1953, for $225,000. The testimony as to market value varied considerably, as it usually does in these cases, the lowest being $175,000 and the highest being $225,000. The highest value was fixed by the sole witness for the City, whose testimony the Court below found "is of no value because it is not in accordance with the requirement of the law." Judge PINOLA in a very able opinion said:

"2. For purpose of taxation by the city, these premises were assessed for the year 1955 at $11,979 for land and $195,000 for building, making a total of $206,979.

"3. The actual or market value of the premises in question is $225,000.

"4. The assessed value is 91.9% of the market value.

"5. No pre-determined ratio of assessed value to actual value for the year 1955 is available nor was any proven. ...

"The Third Class City Code, 1931, P.L. 932, as amended, (53 P.S.Sec. 12198-2504, 1955 pp.) provides that: 'In all cases he (the assessor) shall value, or cause to be valued, the property at the actual value thereof. In arriving at such value the price for which any property would separately bona fide sell, or the price at which any property ...


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