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PETITION CITY ALTOONA v. CENTRAL PENNSYLVANIA RETIREE'S ASSOCIATION (06/05/86)

decided: June 5, 1986.

PETITION OF THE CITY OF ALTOONA, A THIRD CLASS CITY EXISTING UNDER AND BY VIRTUE OF THE LAWS OF THE COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, FOR APPROVAL TO CHARGE AN ADDITIONAL 1.8 MILLS OF REAL ESTATE TAX LEVY AS PROVIDED BY THE THIRD CLASS CITY CODE, AS AMENDED, 53 P.S. § 37531(5).
v.
CENTRAL PENNSYLVANIA RETIREE'S ASSOCIATION, APPELLANT



Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Blair County in the case of Petition of the City of Altoona, a Third Class City existing under and by virtue of the laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, for approval to charge an additional 1.8 Mills of Real Estate Tax Levy as provided by The Third Class City Code, as amended, 53 P.S. Section 37531(5), No. 114 C.P. 985.

COUNSEL

Donald E. Speice, for appellant.

John Casanave, for appellee.

Judges MacPhail, Doyle and Colins, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Doyle.

Author: Doyle

[ 97 Pa. Commw. Page 638]

The Central Pennsylvania Retiree's Association (Appellant) appeals from the order of the Court of Common

[ 97 Pa. Commw. Page 639]

Pleas of Blair County which granted the request of the City of Altoona (City) to levy an additional 1.8 mills of real estate tax pursuant to Section 2531(5) of The Third Class City Code (Code),*fn1 53 P.S. § 37531(5).

On January 8, 1985, the City of Altoona adopted a budget for fiscal year 1985 which, in the determination of the City Council, required an increase in the real estate tax rate above the twenty-five mill limit applicable to such tax under Section 2531(4) of the Code, 53 P.S. § 37531(4). On January 17, 1985, the City filed a petition with the Blair County Court of Common Pleas requesting permission to impose an additional 1.8 mills, for a total of 26.8 mills of real estate tax, in order to meet its projected budgetary requirements. The City's petition was made pursuant to the authority of Section 2531(5) of the Code, 53 P.S. § 37531(5), which states:

Where the city council by a majority action shall, upon due cause shown, petition the court of quarter sessions*fn2 for the right to levy additional millage, the court, after such public notice as it may direct and after hearing, may order a greater rate than twenty-five mills but not exceeding five additional mills to be levied.

In support of its Petition, the City presented evidence to establish that, without an additional 1.8 mills, the City would have a $306,432.00 estimated deficit for the 1985 fiscal year. After considering the evidence, the court issued a memorandum and order allowing the City's request, finding that there was "full necessity to permit the City the increase in millage in order to permit the minimal operations to be answered for by it."

On appeal, Appellant contends that the City did not show "due cause" to justify its ...


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