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CONCERNED TAXPAYERS BEAVER COUNTY v. BEAVER COUNTY BOARD ASSESSMENT APPEALS (07/13/83)

decided: July 13, 1983.

CONCERNED TAXPAYERS OF BEAVER COUNTY, APPELLANT
v.
BEAVER COUNTY BOARD OF ASSESSMENT APPEALS, APPELLEE



Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Beaver County in the case of Concerned Taxpayers of Beaver County v. Beaver County Board of Assessment Appeals, No. 2561 of 1981.

COUNSEL

Thomas A. Dittoe, with him D. Patrick Zimmerman, for appellant.

Eugene Morris, County Solicitor, for appellee.

President Judge Crumlish, Jr. and Judges Rogers, Blatt, Williams, Jr. and Doyle. Opinion by Judge Doyle.

Author: Doyle

[ 75 Pa. Commw. Page 444]

This is an appeal by the Concerned Taxpayers of Beaver County (Taxpayers) from an order of the Court of Common Pleas of Beaver County which dismissed the Taxpayers' Petition to Set Aside Assessment. We affirm.

The Taxpayers, an unincorporated association, brought this action at Law in December of 1981, to stop implementation of a county-wide reassessment which was to be effective for taxes levied during 1982. The Beaver County Board of Assessment (Board) filed preliminary objections to the action and, at oral argument before the court of common pleas sitting en banc, the Board raised the question of subject matter jurisdiction. The Board urged that the Fourth to Eighth Class County Assessment Law (Act)*fn1 provided an appeal procedure and remedy which the Taxpayers failed to pursue. The court of common pleas ordered the filing of supplemental briefs on the question of jurisdiction and subsequently determined that it lacked jurisdiction in law or in equity to hear the Taxpayers' Petition.*fn2 Appeal to this Court followed.

The Petition of the Taxpayers is essentially a complaint of overassessment which challenges the manner

[ 75 Pa. Commw. Page 445]

    in which the reassessment was undertaken, and avers that it amounts to a violation of equal protection and due process guaranteed by the fourteenth amendment to the United States Constitution.*fn3 No constitutional challenge is made to the validity of the Act or any of the procedures set forth therein. In fact, the petition avers a violation of that Act as well.*fn4

Section 701 of the Act provides, in pertinent part, that "[a]ny person aggrieved by any assessment whether or not the value thereof shall have been changed since the preceding annual assessment . . . may appeal to the board for relief." 72 P.S. § 5453.701(b). Section 704 of the Act, 72 P.S. § 5453.704, provides for

[ 75 Pa. Commw. Page 446]

    appeal of decisions of the Board to the court of common pleas. It is well settled that where the legislature provides a remedy without preserving the parallel right to resort directly to the courts, that remedy is exclusive and must be strictly pursued. Lashe v. Northern York County School District, 52 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 541, 417 A.2d 260 ...


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