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CNG COAL COMPANY v. GREENE COUNTY BOARD ASSESSMENT AND REVISION TAXES (12/02/88)

decided: December 2, 1988.

CNG COAL COMPANY, A CORPORATION, APPELLANT
v.
GREENE COUNTY BOARD OF ASSESSMENT AND REVISION OF TAXES, APPELLEE



Appeals from the Orders of the Court of Common Pleas of Greene County, in the case of CNG Coal Company, a corporation v. Greene County Board of Assessment and Revision of Taxes, Miscellaneous No. 46 of 1985, dated August 5, 1987 and November 23, 1987.

COUNSEL

Ewing B. Pollock, Pollock, Pollock & Thomas, for appellant.

David C. Hook, Hook and Hook, for appellee, Greene County Board of Assessment.

Barbara A. Rizzo, with her, Robert T. Crothers, Peacock, Keller, Yohe, Day & Ecker, for intervenor, West Greene School District.

Judges Craig and McGinley, and Senior Judge Narick, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge McGinley. Judge MacPhail did not participate in the decision in this case.

Author: Mcginley

[ 121 Pa. Commw. Page 445]

The Appellant CNG Coal Company brings two consolidated appeals involving a tax assessment of its property. In the first case, the Appellant appeals from the decision of the Court of Common Pleas of Greene County (trial court) which sustained the decision of the Greene County Board of Assessment and Revision of Taxes (Board) as to the fair market value of real estate which is owned by the Appellant, and which determined

[ 121 Pa. Commw. Page 446]

    that the common level ratio, as opposed to the pre-determined ratio, should be applied to the fair market value. In the second appeal, the Appellant appeals from the decision of the same court directing interest on the refund due the Appellant to be calculated as of the date of the former order. We dismiss the first appeal for lack of jurisdiction, and we affirm the decision of the trial court in the second appeal.

The Appellant owns 51,926 acres of Sewickley vein coal in an area which encompasses 66,000 acres, and which extends into seven townships in Greene County. The Appellant also owns a large block of Pittsburgh vein coal, which is about half the size of the Sewickley reserves, and which underlies the Appellant's Sewickley holdings. During the period from November of 1969 through May of 1983, Appellant acquired the Sewickley coal holdings in small, isolated tracts, and thereby pieced together a large contiguous block of Sewickley coal. The highest price which the Appellant paid for any parcel of property was $65.00 per acre. The Board determined that the value of the entire tract of land, because it was mineable, exceeded the aggregate purchase price paid for each of the individual parcels. For the tax year 1986, the Board set a fair market value of $375.00 per acre for the subject property, and the Board applied the pre-determined ratio to this value. On August 26, 1985, the Appellant filed appeals from the seven assessments. After a hearing by the Board on October 29, 1985, the assessments were affirmed.

The Appellant filed an appeal with the trial court on November 20, 1985, pursuant to Section 704 of The Fourth to Eighth Class County Assessment Law (Law), Act of May 21, 1943, P.L. 571, as amended by the Act of December 13, 1982, P.L. 1165, 72 P.S. ยง 5453.704. On August 1, 1986, the West Greene School District

[ 121 Pa. Commw. Page 447]

(Intervenor) filed a Petition to Intervene, which was granted on ...


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