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BORG-WARNER CORPORATION v. YORK TAX REVIEW BOARD (09/16/65)

decided: September 16, 1965.

BORG-WARNER CORPORATION, APPELLANT,
v.
YORK TAX REVIEW BOARD



Appeals from orders of Court of Common Pleas of York County, May T., 1964, Nos. 143 to 151, inclusive, 156, 157, 163, 190, 232, 173, 237, and 218, in cases of Borg-Warner Corporation et al. v. Tax Review Board of City of York.

COUNSEL

Lavere C. Senft, with him Cohen, Senft and Rubin, for appellant.

No argument was made nor brief submitted for appellee.

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

Author: Ervin

[ 206 Pa. Super. Page 173]

These seventeen assessment appeals were consolidated for argument and will be considered in one opinion. In each case the appellant property owner, being dissatisfied with the assessment fixed by the Tax Review Board of the City of York (board), appealed to the Court of Common Pleas of York County, Pennsylvania.

At the hearing before the court below the assessment for each property, by stipulation, was offered in evidence. The appellant property owner then presented

[ 206 Pa. Super. Page 174]

    evidence of the fair market value of the property through an expert witness. The witness then testified that he made an analysis of all sales of real estate which occurred in the City of York during the year 1963. His testimony discloses that during 1963 a total of 859 properties were sold, of which he excluded 160 from his analysis because they did not represent true market value sales. He testified that the sales price of the 699 properties totaled $6,579,691 and that the assessed value of these same properties totaled $4,941,500. The overall ratio of assessed value to market value was computed at 75.1%. The witness made a similar analysis according to the wards in which the properties sold were located. The competency and qualifications of this witness were not questioned.

The board offered no testimony or rebuttal evidence other than that of the city assessor, who testified that there are 15,337 assessed properties in the City of York. It was stipulated that the total assessed value of all real estate in the City of York for 1963 was $129,632,850. A certification of the Pennsylvania State Tax Equalization Board that the same real estate had a market value of $150,304,800 for the same year was also admitted into evidence. The ratio of assessed value to market value thereby disclosed was 86.2%.

The court below, after hearings in all of these cases, entered orders fixing the assessments. The owners of the seventeen properties filed separate appeals to this Court.

In its opinion the court below stated: "In all of these cases where the parties did not agree that the assessed value represented the market value, we arrived at what we considered a proper assessment by first giving effect to the rule that the assessment made by the taxing authorities when introduced in evidence is prima facie ...


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