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MAY DEPARTMENT STORES COMPANY v. ALLEGHENY COUNTY BOARD PROPERTY ASSESSMENT (01/25/71)

decided: January 25, 1971.

MAY DEPARTMENT STORES COMPANY, APPELLANT,
v.
ALLEGHENY COUNTY BOARD OF PROPERTY ASSESSMENT, APPEALS AND REVIEW ET AL., APPELLANTS



Appeals from order of Court of Common Pleas, Civil Division, of Allegheny County, Oct. T., 1965, No. 547, in case of The May Department Stores Company v. Board of Property Assessment, Appeals and Review of the County of Allegheny et al.

COUNSEL

Frank W. Ittel, with him Frank W. Ittel, Jr., and Reed, Smith, Shaw & McClay, for property owner.

John F. Murphy, Assistant County Solicitor, with him Maurice Louik, County Solicitor, for Board of Property Assessment, Appeals and Review of the County of Allegheny.

Richard L. Rosenzweig, Borough Solicitor, with him Aaron Rosenzweig, and Rosenzweig & Rosenzweig, for Borough of Monroeville.

Thomas M. Rutter, Jr., School District Solicitor, and Goehring, Rutter & Boehm, for Gateway School District.

Bell, C. J., Jones, Cohen, Eagen, O'Brien, Roberts and Pomeroy, JJ. Opinion by Mr. Justice Roberts. Mr. Justice Cohen took no part in the decision of this case.

Author: Roberts

[ 441 Pa. Page 558]

We are called upon to determine the correctness of an assessment made by the Board of Property Assessment, Appeals and Review, of Allegheny County and subsequently modified by the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County. We affirm.

In 1965, the Board notified the May Department Stores Company that the assessment value*fn1 of certain property owned by the Company in Monroeville was being increased for the triennium of 1965, 1966, and 1967 as follows:

[ 441 Pa. Page 5591965]

$2,737,740.00

1966 $2,757,040.00

1967*fn2 $2,770,040.00

The Company filed an administrative appeal, and the Board sustained the assessment on June 21, 1965. The Company then filed an appeal on July 16, 1965, in the court of common pleas. Prior to the hearing, the Borough of Monroeville and the Gateway School District filed petitions requesting that they be made parties of record. They had interests in the proceeding because they base their taxes on assessments made by the Board. Their petitions to intervene were granted.*fn3 Hearing was held on October 15, 1969, the delay allegedly having been caused by the series of assessment decisions by this Court in 1965 and 1967. See Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company Tax Assessment Case, 426 Pa. 566, 235 A.2d 790 (1967) and cases following; Deitch Company v. Board of Property Assessment, 417 Pa. 213, 209 A.2d 397 (1965) and cases following.

At trial the Board presented the above assessment figures. The Company then called its own alleged expert witness, M. M. Juskalian, who was allowed to testify over the Board's objection. In his opinion, ...


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