Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County in case of The City of Pittsburgh v. Board of Property Assessment, Appeals and Review of the County of Allegheny, No. GD-75-16258.
Thomas M. Rutter, Jr., First Assistant County Solicitor, with him Alexander J. Jaffurs, County Solicitor and John G. Arch, Assistant County Solicitor, for appellant.
D. R. Pellegrini, Deputy City Solicitor, with him Mead J. Mulvihill, Jr., City Solicitor, for appellee.
Robert J. Stefanko, for School District of Pittsburgh.
William J. Fahey, for Board of Property Assessment, Appeals & Review.
Judges Crumlish, Jr., Mencer, DiSalle, Craig and MacPhail. President Judge Bowman and Judges Wilkinson, Jr., Rogers and Blatt did not participate. Opinion by Judge Craig. This decision was reached prior to the death of President Judge Bowman. Judge DiSalle did not participate in the decision in this case. Judge MacPhail dissents.
[ 49 Pa. Commw. Page 443]
This appeal comes to us from the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, which determined, on appeal by the City of Pittsburgh from a decision of the Allegheny County Board of Property Assessment, Appeals and Review (board), that certain properties owned by Allegheny County were properly subject to
[ 49 Pa. Commw. Page 444]
real estate taxes, and therefore entered summary judgment in favor of the city.
The subject property consists of two square blocks of land in downtown Pittsburgh, which the county purchased from the Public Parking Authority of the City of Pittsburgh in April, 1970. At the time of that purchase, the county's intention was to use the properties as the site for construction of government buildings. For reasons not revealed in the record, that proposal has never been effectuated, and the property continues to be utilized, as it was at the time of the county's acquisition, for surface parking lots open to the public.
In 1971 the property was placed in the taxable category by the board. The county did not challenge that categorization by a request for exemption until the spring of 1975, when the property was faced with a city treasurer's sale for nonpayment of taxes.
The board, after hearing the county's request, granted the exemption and exonerated all taxes previously assessed against the property. On the city's appeal to the court of common pleas, that court reversed the board, found the property properly subject to real estate taxation, and ordered the county ...