Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Delaware County in case of Leopard Industries, Inc. (formerly known as Great Leopard Market Corp.) v. Philip N. Toanone, Chester City Assessor, No. 5322 of 1971.
James L. Rankin, with him Rankin & Rankin, for appellant.
Philip A. McMunigal, Jr., Solicitor, for appellee.
President Judge Bowman and Judges Crumlish, Jr., Kramer, Wilkinson, Jr., Mencer, Rogers and Blatt. Opinion by Judge Crumlish, Jr. Judge Mercer dissents. Concurring Opinion by Judge Kramer.
[ 10 Pa. Commw. Page 279]
Leopard Industries, Inc. (Leopard) filed an action in mandamus praying that the Court of Common Pleas
[ 10 Pa. Commw. Page 280]
of Delaware County command the Chester City Tax Assessor to reduce Leopard's real estate assessment insofar as it is applied to school tax purposes.
The Complaint was dismissed, giving rise to this appeal.
A building in the City of Chester owned by Leopard was completely destroyed by fire on April 20, 1971, with all remnants thereof being removed so that only vacant ground remained. Leopard requested that the City Assessor reduce the assessed value of the property from its triennial valuation of $43,000 covering years 1969, 1970, 1971, to an assessment reflecting the loss of the building formerly situated on the land in question. Leopard also requested that this reduced valuation be effective July 1, 1971, the first day of the fiscal year of the Chester School District.*fn1 In denying Leopard's specific request, Leopard was advised that a reduced valuation would be accomplished at a later date, namely January 1, 1972.
Appellant argues that since The Third Class City Code, Act of June 23, 1931, P.L. 932, Article XXV, Section 2506, as amended, 53 P.S. § 37506, gives an assessor the power to deduct from the value of property any loss occasioned by destruction or injury to that property, between triennial assessments, it is entitled to a reduction of its liability for a school district's real estate tax when the building situated on the taxable property was destroyed by fire prior to the fiscal year for which the tax was due.
We disagree and affirm the court below.