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BALTIMORE & OHIO RAILROAD APPEAL. (11/14/61)

November 14, 1961

BALTIMORE & OHIO RAILROAD APPEAL.


Appeals, Nos. 111 and 112, March T., 1961, from order of Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, April T., 1957, Nos. 2586 and 2587, in re appeal of Baltimore & Ohio Railroad from tax assessment. Order affirmed; reargument refused December 27, 1961.

COUNSEL

Vincent M. Casey, with him Margiotti & Casey, for appellant.

John F. Murphy, Assistant County Solicitor, with him Maurice Louik, County Solicitor, for Allegheny County, appellee.

Before Bell, C.j., Musmanno, Jones, Cohen, Eagen and Alpern, JJ.

Author: Eagen

[ 405 Pa. Page 350]

OPINION BY MR. JUSTICE EAGEN.

These appeals by the B. & O. Railroad involve the validity of tax assessments levied against improved real estate of which it is possessed in the City of Pittsburgh.

The Department of Highways of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, in the course of construction of the Penn-Lincoln Parkway East in December 1951, found it necessary to condemn and appropriate certain land and facilities of the railroad located in the City of Pittsburgh. In order to provide land upon which the railroad could relocate and re-establish its facilities, the Commonwealth condemned properties of others in the city. Deeds of conveyance were also obtained by the

[ 405 Pa. Page 351]

Commonwealth from the latter landowners. The litigated assessments are levied against the land upon which the new facilities are located or under construction, and for the purpose of identification, it is designated in the record as Parcel 2-j-288. Upon all dates material, the record fee title has remained in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

In connection with the relocation of the railroad facilities, the Commonwealth and the B. & O. Railroad entered into a written agreement on May 29, 1952. Therein, the Commonwealth agreed, inter alia, to pay all of the costs incident to the relocation; to furnish whatever land was necessary to effectuate the relocation and to deed in fee simple title to said land to the railroad. From a reading of the agreement, it is quite evidence that the land upon which the railroad facilities were then proposed to be relocated had previously been approved by the parties to the agreement, and that it is the specific land involved in this issue. No date for the execution and delivery of the deed incident to the transition of the recorded title was specifically fixed and as yet such has not been effected.

On June 2, 1955, the B. & O. Railroad filed an application with the City of Pittsburgh for a permit to construct a warehouse building on the land which was provided by the Commonwealth for the railroad relocation purposes. On February 3, 1956, an application was filed for permission to construct thereon a railroad passenger station building.

When the land involved was first appropriated and condemned, The Board of Assessment, Appeals and Review of the County of Allegheny listed it as owned by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and classified it as exempt from taxation. Subsequently, as of ...


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