The opinion of the court was delivered by: MUIR
Bonin and others filed this action on behalf of themselves and others similarly situated pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 1331, 1343, 2201, and 42 U.S.C. § 1983 seeking injunctive and declaratory relief and alleging that the Defendants, William Gannon, Everett Hubbard, and Benny Larnard, Bradford County Commissioners, who sit on the Bradford County Board of Assessment Appeals and August G. Neidhardt, Chief Assessor, have not properly notified members of the purported class of changes in their real property assessments for 1979 tax purposes as required by Pennsylvania's Fourth to Eighth class county code, in 72 P.S. §§ 5453.602 and 5453.701. On April 2, 1980, the Plaintiffs' motion for class certification was denied as untimely. On April 3 and 4, the Court, sitting without a jury, held a hearing on the merits of this case. On April 9, 1980, Defendants filed a brief in support of their contention that this action is barred by the Tax Injunction Statute, 28 U.S.C. § 1341. Plaintiffs filed a brief in opposition to the Defendants' position on April 22, 1980. The following represent the Court's findings of fact, discussion, and conclusions of law.
1. Defendants, William Gannon, Everett Hubbard, and Benny Larnard are the Commissioners of Bradford County.
2. Pursuant to the Pennsylvania Fourth to Eighth Class County Assessment Code, 72 P.S. Sec. 5453.101 et seq., the abovenamed Defendants also sit as the Board of Assessment Appeals of Bradford County which is the entity authorized to establish assessments of all real property situate in the County of Bradford for the purpose of real property taxation.
3. All Plaintiffs are owners of parcels of real estate in Bradford County.
4.Plaintiffs own their parcels together with other parties in some form of joint ownership.
5. During 1976, the Defendants and their employees and agents conducted a county-wide reassessment in Bradford County resulting in changes of assessments for approximately 32,000 parcels of property.
6. In August of 1977, Defendants mailed change of assessment notices to all Bradford County real property owners. The assessment figure contained on said assessment notice represented 50 percent of the fair market value of the real property assessed.
7. The assessment notices sent in August of 1977 were accompanied by a separate notice stating that the assessment ratio was 50%.
8. The notice that the assessment ratio was 50% was inserted by Automated Valuation Services, the independent contractor performing the basic valuation of properties, and was inserted without the knowledge of or by the authority of the Defendants.
9. The change of assessment notices sent to Bradford County real property owners in August of 1977 were sent by the Defendants to notify Bradford County real property owners of the change in their assessment for 1978 tax purposes.
10. Although the Defendants had notified Bradford County real property owners that the assessment ratio for 1978 tax purposes was 50%, the assessment ratio ultimately used for tax purposes for 1978 and prior years was 30%.
11. The County was enjoined by the Bradford County Court of Common Pleas from using the 1977 assessments because the assessment notices and the ratio adopted were untimely.
12. On or about July 27, 1978, Defendants acting as the Board of Assessment Appeals, adopted a new assessment roll for 1979 real property tax purposes and years subsequent thereto which incorporated the changed real ...