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UNITED STATES STEEL CORPORATION v. BOARD ASSESSMENT AND REVISION TAXES (09/27/66)

decided: September 27, 1966.

UNITED STATES STEEL CORPORATION, APPELLANT,
v.
BOARD OF ASSESSMENT AND REVISION OF TAXES, APPELLANT



Appeals from orders of Court of Common Pleas of Bucks County, Dec. T., 1960, No. 28; May T., 1961, Nos. 89 and 490; Dec. T., 1961, No. 172; Dec. T., 1963, No. 385; May T., 1963, Nos. 974 and 2513, in case of United States Steel Corporation v. Board of Assessment and Revision of Taxes of Bucks County, School District of Falls Township, and Board of Supervisors of Falls Township.

COUNSEL

Theodore R. Mann, with him Robert K. Greenfield, Robert E. Slota, and Folz, Bard, Kamsler, Goodis & Greenfield, and Cadwallader, Darlington & Clarke, for Falls Township School District.

Samuel M. Snipes, and Snipes & White, for Falls Township.

Henry T. Reath, with him Claude C. Smith, George T. Kelton, and Duane, Morris & Heckscher, and Begley, Carlin, Mandio, Kelton & Popkin, for steel company, taxpayer.

Samuel S. Gray, Jr., County Solicitor, for Board of Assessment and Revision of Taxes of Bucks County.

Bell, C. J., Musmanno, Jones, Cohen, Eagen, O'Brien and Roberts, JJ.

Author: Per Curiam

[ 422 Pa. Page 465]

These are cross appeals from orders of the lower court affirming and modifying certain real estate tax assessments on the Fairless Works, a steel mill owned by United States Steel Corporation (Steel). The parties other than Steel are the Board of Assessment and Revision of Taxes of Bucks County (Board), the School

[ 422 Pa. Page 466]

District of Falls Township and the Board of Supervisors of Falls Township (Intervenors).

The assessments in question concern the years 1960 through 1963. The relevant taxing statute is § 602 of The Fourth to Eighth Class County Assessment Law,*fn1 Act of January 18, 1952, P. L. (1951) 2138, as amended, 72 P.S. § 5453.602 (1965 p.p.), which provides in pertinent part: "(a) It shall be the duty of the chief assessor to assess, rate and value all subjects and objects of local taxation . . . according to the actual value thereof . . . . After there has been established and completed for the entire county the permanent system of records consisting of tax maps, property record cards and property owner's index, as required by section three hundred six of the act herein amended, real property shall be assessed at a value based upon an established predetermined ratio, of which proper notice shall be given, not exceeding seventy-five per centum (75%) of its actual value or the price for which the same would separately bona fide sell . . . . In arriving at such value, the price at which any property may actually have been sold shall be considered, but shall not be controlling. Instead, such selling price estimated or actual shall be subject to revision by increase or decrease to accomplish equalization with other similar property within the county. After the completion of the permanent system of records for the county, when assessing real property, the chief assessor shall also take into consideration the value of such property as indicated by the use of the permanent system of records, cost charts and land values applied on the basis of zones

[ 422 Pa. Page 467]

    and districts as well as the general adherence to the established predetermined ratio." We have held that, within the meaning of statutes of this nature, the term "actual value" refers to market value. Baldwin-Lima-Hamilton Corporation Appeal, 412 Pa. 299, 194 A.2d 434 (1963); Buhl Foundation v. Board of Property Assessment, Appeals and Review, 407 Pa. 567, 180 A.2d 900 (1962). As defined by this Court, market value is "'"the price which a purchaser, willing but not obliged to buy, would pay an owner, willing but not obliged to sell, taking into consideration all uses to which the property is adapted and might in reason be applied."'" Buhl Foundation v. Board of Property Assessment, Appeals and Review, supra at 570, 180 A.2d at 902. The record reveals that the Board's assessments were founded upon the statutory standard and were in such sufficient compliance therewith that they may not be overturned for lack of adherence to the statutory concept of actual value. Accordingly, the attempt on the part of Steel to apply depreciated reproduction ...


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