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APPEALS FROM TAX ASSESSMENTS IMPOSED AGAINST VARIOUS PROPERTIES SITUATE POCONO MOUNTAIN LAKE ESTATES (06/07/84)

COMMONWEALTH COURT OF PENNSYLVANIA


decided: June 7, 1984.

IN RE: APPEALS FROM TAX ASSESSMENTS IMPOSED AGAINST VARIOUS PROPERTIES SITUATE IN POCONO MOUNTAIN LAKE ESTATES, ETC.

Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Pike County in the case of In Re: Appeals from tax assessments imposed against various properties situate in Pocono Mountain Lake Estates, Lehman Township, Pocono Mountain Woodland Lakes, Dingman Township, Tink-Wig Mountain Lake Forest, Lackawaxen Township, Pike County, Pennsylvania, No. 189-1982.

COUNSEL

David A. Greenick, with him, John T. Stieh, Levy, Stieh & Lander, for appellants.

John H. Klemeyer, Beecher, Wagner, Rose & Klemeyer, with him, John F. Finan, County Solicitor, for appellee.

President Judge Crumlish, Jr. and Judges MacPhail and Colins, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge MacPhail.

Author: Macphail

[ 83 Pa. Commw. Page 109]

Appellants*fn1 appeal from the Pike County Court of Common Pleas' decision which upheld the Board of Assessment's (Board) 1980 reassessment of Appellants' real property.

Pursuant to a county wide reassessment of real property in 1980, the Board reassessed Appellants' property using 1973 developer sales as comparable sales for determining the fair market value of the property.*fn2 Appellants unsuccessfully challenged the reassessment to the Board, and then to the common pleas court contending that the Board should not have used developer sales in determining fair market value because their land was purchased through separate individuals, not developers, and these developer sales were inflated by developer expenses and high pressure sales techniques. Appellants also contend that the Board failed to consider the decline in the fair market value of the property since 1973.

We are satisfied that the common pleas judge in this case, Honorable Harold A. Thomson, P.J., correctly decided the matter. Accordingly, we affirm the common pleas court's order regarding these contentions and we do so on the opinion of Judge Thomson, reported at 29 Pa. D. & C.3d 155 (1984).

The remaining issue before us is whether the common pleas court abused its discretion by "disregarding"

[ 83 Pa. Commw. Page 110]

Appellants' expert witness" opinion that developer sales was an improper basis to determine actual market value. To the contrary, the trial court did not disregard that evidence; rather it weighed that evidence against that presented by the Board and accepted the Board's evidence. That is not abuse of discretion, it is the proper exercise of discretion.

Order

The order of the Court of Common Pleas of Pike County, No. 189-1982, dated December 24, 1982 is affirmed.

Disposition

Affirmed.


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