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MOON TOWNSHIP APPEAL. (11/24/59)

November 24, 1959

MOON TOWNSHIP APPEAL.


Appeals, Nos. 40 and 41, March T., 1959, from orders of Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, April T., 1955, No. 604, in re appeal of Township of Moon et al. from assessment of property. Orders affirmed; reargument refused December 31, 1959. Proceedings on appeal of township from decision of board of property assessment appeals and review. Before MONTGOMERY, J. Adjudication filed directing board to enter certain property as taxable and orders entered. Township appealed.

COUNSEL

John A. Robb, with him Robert Van der Voort, John F. Healy, and Van der Voort, Royston, Robb & Leonard, for appellant.

Maurice Louik, County Solicitor, with him Joseph H. Ridge, Assistant County Solicitor, and Philip Baskin, Special Counsel, for appellee.

Before Jones, C.j., Bell, Jones, Cohen, Bok and Mcbride, JJ.

Author: Mcbride

[ 397 Pa. Page 499]

OPINION BY MR. JUSTICE MCBRIDE

This appeal is from the original and supplemental orders of the court below assessing local taxes upon the Greater Pittsburgh Airport property owned by Allegheny

[ 397 Pa. Page 500]

County. The controversy began in 1953. In that year the Allegheny County Board of Property Assessments (hereinafter referred to as "Board") made the original assessment of the airport and declared the entire property tax exempt. The Township of Moon and Moon Schools Union School District (hereinafter referred to as "appellants") appealed to the Board and subsequently to the Court of Common Pleas,*fn1 wherein Allegheny County intervened to support the Board. That appeal resulted in a finding that portions of the airport property should be placed in a taxable status by the Board and, on August 1, 1956, the court below decreed that the Board restore those parts of the property to a taxable classification "for the year 1953, and subsequent years," making a valuation in proportion to the value of the entire property. This order was appealed by both Allegheny County and the appellants, the County arguing that the entire property should have been declared tax-exempt and the appellants contending that the entire property should have been placed in the taxable classification. That order was affirmed by this Court. Moon Township Appeal, 387 Pa. 144, 127 A.2d 361.

Subsequently, appellants appealed from the Board's decision on remand, making such assessments in the names of the various lessees at the airport. At that time the question was raised whether the prior order of the court entered in August of 1956 was applicable to any years other than 1953 and 1954. On March 11, 1958, the court en banc directed the Board (1) to make its assessments not in the names of the individual lessees but against Allegheny County and held that the only years involved were 1953 and 1954, and, (2) it ordered a hearing on the question of valuation of the taxable

[ 397 Pa. Page 501]

    portions of the property. Appellants filed a petition asking the court to reconsider that portion of its order which declared that the only years involved were 1953 and 1954. The court granted reargument limited to that question. Upon reargument, the court on October 16, 1958, approved the order of March 11, 1958 as entered.*fn2 The County has accepted both the original and supplementary orders and has filed no appeal. Appellants, however, have appealed from both orders entered October 16, 1958, i.e., the valuation of the taxable property and that this valuation be limited only to the years 1953 and 1954.

The issue before us at this time is the determination of what the court below meant in its original order by the words "1953 and subsequent years". Appellants contend that the subsequent triennial 1955 to 1957 was also subject to the original order of the court below. With this contention we cannot agree. The decisional facts disclose that following the opening of the airport in 1952 an assessment for the triennial commencing in 1952 was made. An appeal from this assessment was taken and the Board's decision thereon was made before the 1955 triennial assessment. Subsequently, the Board in January of 1955, gave public notice of the assessment on this property filed for the 1955 triennial, and no appeal was taken by the appellants from this assessment. At the trial of the appeal from the 1953 assessment, the only records produced, testimony introduced and assessment read into the ...


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