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LAROSE DWELLINGS v. ALLEGHENY COUNTY BOARD PROPERTY ASSESSMENT (06/17/65)

decided: June 17, 1965.

LAROSE DWELLINGS, INC., APPELLANT,
v.
ALLEGHENY COUNTY BOARD OF PROPERTY ASSESSMENT



Appeal from order of Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, Oct. T., 1960, No. 1504, in case of LaRose Dwellings, Inc. v. Board of Property Assessment, Appeals and Review of Allegheny County.

COUNSEL

Leonard M. Mendelson, with him Edward C. Leckey, for appellant.

John F. Murphy, Assistant County Solicitor, with him James Victor Voss, Assistant County Solicitor, Francis A. Barry, First Assistant County Solicitor, and Maurice Louik, County Solicitor, for appellee.

Ervin, P. J., Wright, Watkins, Montgomery, Jacobs, and Hoffman, JJ. (Flood, J., absent). Opinion by Ervin, P. J.

Author: Ervin

[ 205 Pa. Super. Page 589]

LaRose Dwellings, Inc. owns two three-story brick apartment buildings in the City of Pittsburgh and the land adjoining. The assessment of this property for the triennial year beginning in 1960 was $112,725, including an assessment of $53,160 each on the two apartment buildings.

After an unsuccessful appeal to the Board of Property Assessment and Review, the taxpayer took an appeal to the court below, alleging an assessment in excess of market value and lack of uniformity. At the trial the board offered into evidence a certified copy of the assessment record and rested. This established the prima facie validity of the assessment: North Park Village, Inc. v. Bd. of Property Assessments, 408 Pa. 433, 184 A.2d 253.

Appellant called two witnesses. A bookkeeper authenticated and introduced into evidence statements of income and expense for the apartment buildings for the years 1958-1959. Appellant's second witness, a real estate expert, Mr. Strauss, testified the market value of the property was $120,000 and that the ratio of assessment to market value was 94%, at an assessment of $112,725. The expert then testified to the market value of four allegedly comparable properties, another apartment building, two private residences and a duplex, all in the neighborhood, and on the basis of these figures found a ratio of assessed value to market value of 44% as to the Brookline apartment building and between 32.7% and 35% as to the other properties.

At the close of the case appellant offered, and the court refused to admit in evidence, the report of the State Tax Equalization Board as showing the ratio

[ 205 Pa. Super. Page 590]

    between assessed and market value of real estate in the City of Pittsburgh and Allegheny County. Although the board presented no countervailing evidence, the court below held appellant had not met its burden of proof that the assessment was in excess of market value or lacking in uniformity, and dismissed the appeal. The taxpayer appeals to this Court.

In dismissing the appeal the court below rejected the testimony of the expert witness Strauss as to the relation between assessment and market value on these allegedly comparable properties, other than the apartment house, on the ground the properties were not in fact comparable.

The appeal here properly raises only the issue of uniformity since appellant's expert Strauss' testimony showed market value in excess of assessed value: McKnight Shopping Center, Inc. v. Board ...


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