Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Montgomery County in case of North Penn School District v. Tax Claim Bureau of Montgomery County, No. 74-1599.
Alfred O. Breinig, Jr., for appellant.
Rosemary M. Flannery, with her Raymond Pearlstine and, of counsel, Wisler, Pearlstine, Talone, Craig & Garrity, for appellee.
President Judge Bowman and Judges Crumlish, Jr., Kramer, Wilkinson, Jr., Mencer, Rogers and Blatt. Opinion by President Judge Bowman.
[ 19 Pa. Commw. Page 378]
Pursuant to section 702 of the Real Estate Tax Sale Law, Act of July 7, 1947, P.L. 1368, as amended, 72 P.S. § 5860.702, appellant, Alfred O. Breinig, negotiated the purchase by private sale of certain properties held by the Tax Claim Bureau of Montgomery County (Bureau). The North Penn School District, appellee, having been given notice of the proposed sale by the Bureau, petitioned the lower court to disapprove the proposed sale, asserting its right to do so under section 613 of the Act, 72 P.S. § 5860.613 (Supp. 1974-1975). The lower court sustained the school district's petition and ordered that the property be sold at a public sale; hence this appeal.
The Real Estate Tax Sale Law embodies a comprehensive plan designed to provide a mechanism for and to facilitate the collection, through sale if necessary, of delinquent real estate taxes owed to the various taxing districts within a county. Section 201 of the Act, 72 P.S. § 5860.201 (Supp. 1974-1975), creates a tax claim bureau in each of the enumerated classes of counties, of which Montgomery County is one. Inferentially, the Act establishes two classifications of properties subject to management by the bureau. Its responsibilities, the interests of the taxing districts and the owner or former owner of the property vary according to the class of property involved.
The first class encompasses all property returned to the bureau after its creation, against which there are delinquent taxes for the preceding calendar year. As to
[ 19 Pa. Commw. Page 379]
this class, upon sale of the property by the bureau to recoup delinquent taxes, the proceeds are distributed as provided by section 205 of the Act, 72 P.S. § 5860.205 (Supp. 1974-1975). As here relevant, in the event that the sale price is in excess of the upset price,*fn1 this section provides that "the balance remaining shall be paid to the owner of the property sold."
The second class of property -- and the class with which we are here concerned -- encompasses property acquired by the county or another taxing district through the purchase thereof at a tax sale prior to the effective date of the Act and turned over to the bureau thereafter as mandated by section 701 of the Act, 72 P.S. § 5860.701. This class of property is sometimes refered to as "inventory" property in the hands of the bureau. With respect to this class of property, section 702 of the Act, 72 P.S. § 5860.702, in relevant part, provides:
"[T]he bureau shall manage and control the property for the trustee county with power . . . (h) to sell the property at private sale . . . and to make deeds for such property when sold in the manner provided by and subject to the provisions of sections 613, 614 and 615 in so far as they may be applicable." (Emphasis added.)
Section 702 does not address itself to the distribution of the proceeds of a private sale ...