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APPEAL MELLON BANK (11/22/83)

decided: November 22, 1983.

APPEAL OF MELLON BANK, N.A. FROM ASSESSMENT OF PROPERTY IN THE SECOND WARD OF THE CITY OF PITTSBURGH ETC. MELLON BANK, N.A., APPELLANT


Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County in case of Appeal of Mellon Bank, N.A., from Assessment of property in the Second Ward of the City of Pittsburgh, County of Allegheny, by the Board of Property Assessment, Appeals and Review, No. G.D. 81-09736.

COUNSEL

Edward W. Seifert, with him Richard T. Wentley and Janie L. Pressley, Reed, Smith, Shaw & McClay, for appellant.

D. R. Pellegrini, City Solicitor, for appellee.

Judges Williams, Jr., MacPhail and Blatt, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Blatt.

Author: Blatt

[ 78 Pa. Commw. Page 464]

Mellon Bank, N.A. (taxpayer) appeals here an order of the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County which assessed the fair market value on one of the taxpayer's banks*fn1 at 9 million dollars for the 1980 tax year and at 9 1/2 million dollars for the 1981 tax year.*fn2

After an initial determination as to value by the Board of Property Assessment (Board), the taxpayer exercised its right of de novo review and appealed that determination to the court of common pleas. At trial, both the taxpayer and the City of Pittsburgh (City) presented expert testimony relating to the value of the property in question. The trial judge, as a fact-finder, accepted the figures of the City's witness and assessed the property accordingly. The taxpayer then filed the instant appeal.

Our scope of review in a tax assessment appeal is limited to determining whether or not the trial court committed an error of law or abused its discretion in calculating the fair market value of the property in

[ 78 Pa. Commw. Page 465]

    question. Appeal of Chartiers Valley School District, 67 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 121, 447 A.2d 317 (1982), appeal dismissed, Pa. , 456 A.2d 986 (1983). And, the findings of the trial court must be given great force and will not be disturbed unless clear error appears. Id.

The taxpayer argues first that this case should be remanded for a new trial inasmuch as the trial judge neither made specific findings of fact nor wrote an opinion accompanying his final order.

Relevant to the determination of the issue raised here is Pa. R.A.P. 1925(a) which provides:

Upon receipt of the notice of appeal the judge who entered the order appealed from, if the reasons for the order do not already appear of record, shall forthwith file of record at least a brief statement, in the form of an opinion, of the reasons for the order, or for the rulings or other matters complained of, or ...


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