Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Tioga County in case of In Re: Ames Shopping Plaza, Wellsboro Borough, Tioga County, Pennsylvania, No. 859 Civil Division, 1982.
Robert A. MacDonnell, Obermayer, Rebmann, Maxwell & Hippel, for appellant.
William A. Hebe, Spencer, Gleason & Hebe, for appellee.
Judges Rogers, Craig and Colins, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Craig.
[ 83 Pa. Commw. Page 123]
Ames Shopping Plaza, a limited partnership, questions an order by the Court of Common Pleas of Tioga County, dismissing the shopping plaza's appeal from a decision by the county's Board of Property Assessment, which fixed the fair market value of the property
[ 83 Pa. Commw. Page 124]
for 1982 at $1,097,800 and the assessed value at 50% of market value, or $548,900.
We have been asked to decide if the trial court, in refusing to reduce the board's assessment, (1) ignored relevant, credible, and unrebutted testimony concerning the shopping plaza's fair market value and (2) relied on irrelevant evidence drawn from a federal income tax return of the taxpayer. Mindful that we must give the findings of the trial court great force and will not disturb its decision absent proof of an abuse of discretion, lack of supporting evidence, or clear error of law, Appeal of Chartiers Valley School District, 67 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 121, 125-26, 447 A.2d 317, 320 (1982), we affirm.
From 1977 to 1980, the shopping plaza was subject to the county's five-year graduated tax incentive plan designed to provide tax relief for new businesses in their first years of operation; under the plan, the taxing authorities assessed the property as follows:
1977 16% assessment rate = ...