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WHEELING-PITTSBURGH STEEL CORPORATION v. BOARD ASSESSMENT APPEALS COUNTY WESTMORELAND. (2 CASES) (06/16/76)

decided: June 16, 1976.

WHEELING-PITTSBURGH STEEL CORPORATION
v.
BOARD OF ASSESSMENT APPEALS OF THE COUNTY OF WESTMORELAND. (2 CASES)



Appeals from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Westmoreland County in case of Wheeling-Pittsburgh Steel Corporation v. Board of Assessment Appeals of the County of Westmoreland, No. 3922 of 1974.

COUNSEL

Aoam N. Aretz, with him H. Reginald Belden, Jr., and Irving L. Bloom, for Board of Assessment.

Edward W. Seifert, with him Reed, Smith, Shaw & McClay; B. Patrick Costello ; and Costello & Berk, for Wheeling-Pittsburgh Steel Corporation.

President Judge Bowman and Judges Crumlish, Jr., Wilkinson, Jr., Mencer, Rogers and Blatt. Judge Kramer did not participate. Opinion by Judge Wilkinson.

Author: Wilkinson

[ 25 Pa. Commw. Page 195]

Wheeling-Pittsburgh Steel Corporation (Wheeling) owns and operates a basic oxygen steel manufacturing

[ 25 Pa. Commw. Page 196]

    facility (BOF) located in the City of Monessen, County of Westmoreland. In 1973, the Board of Assessment Appeals of the County of Westmoreland (Board) included the BOF in Wheeling's 1974 real estate tax assessment of land and buildings in the City of Monessen.

In December of 1973, Wheeling appealed from the assessment to the Board, claiming that the assessment of the BOF plant should be eliminated because it consisted of machinery, appliances and equipment contained in an industrial establishment. By letter dated November 14, 1974, the Board sustained the assessment, including the value of the BOF, for 1975 and dismissed the appeal as to 1974.

On December 12, 1974, Wheeling filed an appeal from the assessment to the Court of Common Pleas of Westmoreland County. On January 7, 1975, the Board filed preliminary objections as to the timeliness of appeal for the tax year 1974.

The court reserved ruling on the preliminary objections and held a hearing on the merits of the appeal. By stipulation of counsel, it was agreed that the hearing would be on the merits as to the tax year 1975 and that the determination of the court as to 1975 would also apply to 1974, but only if the Board's preliminary objections were dismissed.

On November 11, 1975, the court below entered its opinion and order, sustaining the Board's preliminary objections as to the tax year 1974 and finding for Wheeling on the merits as to the tax year 1975. The Board has appealed the order as to the merits of the assessment for 1975 and Wheeling has appealed the sustaining of preliminary objections as to the tax year 1974. Both appeals were consolidated for argument before this Court.

Section 201 of The General County Assessment Law, Act of May 22, 1933, P.L. 853, as amended, 72 P.S. ยง ...


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