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MARGARET CALCAGNI v. BOARD ASSESSMENT APPEALS LEHIGH COUNTY (11/26/80)

decided: November 26, 1980.

MARGARET CALCAGNI, APPELLANT
v.
BOARD OF ASSESSMENT APPEALS OF LEHIGH COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA, APPELLEE



Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Lehigh County in case of Margaret Calcagni v. Lehigh County Board of Assessment Appeals, No. 106 January Term, 1978.

COUNSEL

Richard J. Orloski, Stamberg, Caplan & Calnan. for appellant.

Alfred K. Hettinger, Assistant County Solicitor, with him John E. Roberts, for appellee.

Judges Rogers, MacPhail and Palladino. Opinion by Judge Rogers.

Author: Rogers

[ 55 Pa. Commw. Page 40]

Margaret Calcagni has appealed from an order of the Court of Common Pleas of Lehigh County dismissing her appeal from the assessment of her home property for local tax purposes.

In September 1977 Ms. Calcagni's newly erected home at 218 East Fairview Street, Allentown, Pennsylvania was assessed for $11,130.00 based on a market value of $22,250.00. Ms. Calcagni appealed the assessment to the Board of Assessment Appeals without success. She appealed to the court below, asserting that the county's assessments were improperly made and that they lacked uniformity.*fn1 The court below

[ 55 Pa. Commw. Page 41]

    dismissed her appeal. On Ms. Calcagni's appeal to this court, we remanded so that Ms. Calcagni might again offer in evidence the assessment records of other properties in her neighborhood, which we believed should not have been excluded. Calcagni v. Board of Assessment Appeals of Lehigh County, 38 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 525, 394 A.2d 663 (1978).

Additional hearings were held and the wanted assessment records were admitted. Ms. Calcagni offered the expert testimony of Franklin G. Trenge, a real estate broker. She also called as on cross-examination Robert Hanisits, the person charged with making assessments. The Board of Assessment Appeals placed into evidence the tax assessment records of Ms. Calcagni's property and adduced the testimony of Mr. Hanisits and of Dan Jarrett, a real estate appraiser. The court again dismissed the appeal and the matter is again here.

Ms. Calcagni first says that the trial judge improperly excluded her expert's, Mr. Trenge, testimony: that the market value of properties in her neighborhood were in the range from $16,000 to $29,000; that it was his belief that figures appearing in the County's assessment records under the heading "replacement value" actually show market value; and that it is his opinion that the application by the county assessors of a depreciation factor to replacement values to reach market value caused the fair market value of many properties in the neighborhood other than her own to be undervalued for assessment purposes.

[ 55 Pa. Commw. Page 42]

The hearing judge seems to have excluded Mr. Trenge's opinion of values because the witness's investigation consisted only of observations of the neighborhood from his automobile and for the further reason that the witness's opinion was based in part at least ...


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