Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Luzerne County in the case of In Re: Petition and Appeal of the City of Wilkes-Barre Industrial Development Authority and The Wilkes-Barre Inn, a Limited Partnership, No. 4079-C of 1982.
John G. Whelley, Jr., with him, Robert D. Schaub, Rosenn, Jenkins & Greenwald, for appellants.
David R. Lipka, for appellee.
Judges Craig and Doyle, and Senior Judge Kalish, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Doyle.
[ 100 Pa. Commw. Page 487]
This is a tax assessment case in which Appellants, the City of Wilkes-Barre Industrial Development Authority and the Wilkes-Barre Inn, appeal from the order of the Court of Common Pleas of Luzerne County which established the fair market value of Appellants' property for the 1982 tax year as $4,758,380.00.
This matter was the subject of a prior appeal to this court in City of Wilkes-Barre Industrial Development Authority v. Board of Tax Assessment Appeals, 89 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 182, 492 A.2d 113 (1985) (Wilkes-Barre I). In Wilkes-Barre I we considered the issue of
[ 100 Pa. Commw. Page 488]
whether the Board of Assessment had met its burden to present competent evidence on the issue of fair market value. Although we concluded that the Board had met its burden, we held that the trial court erred in considering certain evidence relating to reproduction costs and balance sheet figures, and remanded the case to the trial court for a reconsideration of the evidence absent these items. On remand, the trial court once again found that the Board's evidence of fair market value for the tax year 1982 was credible, and accepted its figure of $4,758,380.00. The present appeal is from this order of the trial court.
In this appeal Appellants once again argue that the Board did not present competent and credible evidence to meet its burden of proof, raising the identical claims as were raised in its first appeal to this Court. As is clear from a reading of our opinion in Wilkes-Barre I, we have already considered and rejected this argument, concluding that the Board's evidence was competent. We remanded solely because of the trial court's consideration of additional irrelevant evidence which may have affected its credibility determination. As we clearly stated in Wilkes-Barre I :
In summary, we conclude that although the results of the Board's method of determining fair market value were competent and capable of belief, the trial court relied upon certain irrelevant evidence in reaching its conclusion that the Board's evidence was more credible. Since we cannot say that the court would have reached the same conclusion regarding credibility had the corroborating evidence been properly excluded, we must vacate the court's order, and remand for a reconsideration of the relevant evidence.
Id. at 191, 492 A.2d at 118. Since it is apparent that we have already considered ...