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In re P-Ville Associates

Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania

March 6, 2014

In Re: Appeal of P-Ville Associates from the Decision of the Chester County Board of Assessment Appeals for Property Located at 101 116 Starr Street, Borough of Phoenixville, Chester County, Pennsylvania For Tax Year 2011 - Interim Assessment, Tax Parcel No. 19-279.1, Appeal of: P-Ville Associates

Submitted: November 15, 2013.

Appealed from No. 2011-13714-AB. Common Pleas Court of the County of Chester. Tunnell, J.

Christopher H. Peifer, Media, for appellant.

Julie M. Potts, West Chester, for appellee Chester County Board of Assessment Appeals.

J. Benjamin Nevius, Exton, for appellee Phoenixville Area School District.

BEFORE: HONORABLE BONNIE BRIGANCE LEADBETTER, Judge, HONORABLE MARY HANNAH LEAVITT, Judge, HONORABLE ANNE E. COVEY, Judge. OPINION BY JUDGE LEAVITT. Judge Leadbetter dissents.

OPINION

Page 899

MARY HANNAH LEAVITT, Judge

P-Ville Associates (Taxpayer) appeals an order of the Court of Common Pleas of Chester County (trial court) dismissing Taxpayer's appeal of its 2013 real estate assessment. The trial court concluded that the 2013 assessment was not automatically appealed by virtue of Taxpayer's pending appeal of the Board of Assessment's dismissal of its nunc pro tunc appeal of its 2011 assessment. Taxpayer asserted that it did not receive the 2011 assessment notice and that, in any case, the notice was defective on its face because it did not identify the location of the property being assessed and in other ways did not comply with the statutory requirements for an assessment notice. Concluding that Taxpayer's nunc pro tunc appeal triggered the automatic assessment appeal provision, we reverse and remand for further proceedings.

Taxpayer owns a parcel of land located in the Borough of Phoenixville in Chester County. On June 15, 2011, the Chester County Assessment Office issued an " interim" assessment notice that increased Taxpayer's real estate assessment from $1,576,010 to $3,178,330 " effective July 26, 2011." Reproduced Record at 3a (R.R. ).[1] By statute, Taxpayer had until July 25, 2011, to appeal the interim assessment.[2] Taxpayer did not meet this

Page 900

deadline.[3] Chester County, the Borough of Phoenixville and the Phoenixville Area School District issued tax bills to Taxpayer with a payment date of October 15, 2011.

On December 1, 2011, Taxpayer filed a nunc pro tunc appeal of the interim assessment with the Chester County Board of Assessment Appeals, asserting it did not get notice of the interim assessment. It also asserted that the notice did not comply with the statutory requirements and, thus, was void ab initio . Finally, it challenged the merits of the fair market valuation of the property in question.

On December 5, 2011, the Board of Assessment Appeals denied Taxpayer's nunc pro tunc appeal, returning Taxpayer's appeal documents and fee. It did not address Taxpayer's nunc pro tunc arguments. On December 15, 2011, Taxpayer timely filed an appeal to the trial court that it captioned a " Petition For Nunc Pro Tunc Appeal From the Assessment of the Chester County Board of ...


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