Appeals from the Orders of the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County in cases of Appeals of Chartiers Valley School District and of Township of Scott from Assessment of Property of Connecticut General Life Insurance Company, Inc., et al., Nos. GD 78-3833, 78-3834, 78-3835, 78-3836, 78-22089, 78-22090 and 78-22091, dated October 22, 1981 and October 30, 1981.
Robert L. Federline, with him Thomas J. Dempsey, for appellants.
Leonard M. Mendelson, Hollinshead & Mendelson, for appellees.
Judges Craig, MacPhail and Doyle, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Craig.
These consolidated eighteen appeals, by Chartiers Valley School District and the Township of Scott as taxing bodies, constitute a further chapter in a series of real estate tax assessment appeals involving an apartment development owned by the taxpayer parties. Previously, in Appeal of Chartiers Valley School District, 67 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 121, 447 A.2d 317 (1982) (Chartiers Valley I), this court by President Judge Crumlish, affirmed the findings of the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County as to the market values of the development's various parcels for 1979 and earlier tax years. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court refused to allow the taxing bodies any further appeal in Chartiers Valley I but granted the taxpayers permission to proceed with their appeals, which are still pending in that court.
The later tax years of 1980 and 1981 are involved in these consolidated appeals. The taxing bodies have challenged three orders which the trial court entered in October, 1981, while Chartiers I was in this court. Summarized, the three orders are as follows:
1. Negating Automatic Appeals To Common Pleas Court -- An order of October 22, 1981 struck from the issue list the taxing bodies' alleged appeals from decisions of the Allegheny
County Board of Property Assessment, Appeals and Review concerning 1980 and 1981 assessments, which the taxpayers had initially brought to that board. The taxing bodies claim that their appeals automatically came before the common pleas court under § 518.1 of The General County Assessment Law, Act of May 22, 1933, P.L. 1853 as amended, 72 P.S. § 5020-518.1, without the necessity of the taxing bodies actually filing any appeals with the court.
2. Tax Refunds For 1980 or Credits for 1981 -- A second order of October 22, 1981 required the taxing bodies to recognize the 1980 tax reductions for the taxpayers by issuing the refunds, or issuing revised 1981 tax bills giving credit, or accepting payment of the reduced 1981 tax with credit for the 1980 refunds.
3. Payment of 1981 Taxes in Court -- An order dated October 30, 1981 required that the reduced amount of 1981 taxes, as tendered by the taxpayers, be placed in an interest bearing account by the prothonotary pending acceptance by the taxing bodies, also required that the tax collector mark the taxes as paid for 1981, and further prohibited the taxing bodies from imposing any lien or charging any penalties or interest against the taxpayers for the year 1981.
The taxing bodies question the legal validity of each of those orders.
Rejection of Automatic Appeal From Board to Court
Under the General County Assessment Law, as amended, section 518.1 ...