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Global Links v. Keystone Oaks School District

Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania

May 8, 2015

Global Links, Appellant
v.
Keystone Oaks School District, the County of Allegheny, and Borough of Greentree

Argued: April 13, 2015.

Appealed from No. GD-13-014525. Common Pleas Court of the County of Allegheny. Wettick, Jr., J.

Michael A. Magee, Pittsburgh, for appellant.

M. Janet Burkardt and James P. McGraw, Pittbsurgh, for appellees.

BEFORE: HONORABLE DAN PELLEGRINI, President Judge, HONORABLE RENÉ E COHN JUBELIRER, Judge, HONORABLE ROBERT SIMPSON, Judge.

OPINION

DAN PELLEGRINI, President Judge

Global Links appeals from an order of the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County (trial court) affirming the decision of the Allegheny County Board of Property Assessment Appeals and Review's (Board) decision to refuse its property exemption from July 3, 2012, the day that it acquired ownership, based on the Tax Assessment

Page 419

Day Rule. Under that Rule, the taxable status of a property becomes fixed as of the date designated by law as assessment day, i.e., January 1 of each year.[1] For the following reasons, we affirm.

The facts of this case are undisputed and are set forth in a joint stipulation of counsel. In Allegheny County, with one exception, the assessment is fixed as January 1 of each year. On July 3, 2012, Global Links, a purely public charity, purchased the property in question (Property)[2] from Trumball Realty Company, a taxable entity. Shortly after the purchase, Global Links sought an exemption from real estate taxes effective as of the purchase date because it was being used for charitable purposes. The Office of Property Assessments for Allegheny County (OPA) approved Global Links' request for tax-exempt status for tax year 2013 and years forward, but denied its request for an exemption for the latter half of the 2012 tax year because Global Links was not the Property's owner as of January 1, 2012. [3]

Global Links then appealed the OPA's denial of its tax-exempt status for the latter half of the 2012 tax year to the Board which agreed with the OPA's determination. Global Links then appealed to the trial court arguing that per In re Jubilee Ministries International, 2 A.3d 706 (Pa. Cmwlth. 2010),[4] the Tax Assessment Day Rule in Allegheny County was eliminated in 1978 when Section 505(b) was added to the General County Assessment Law[5] allowing for mid-year tax roll revisions when property is exchanged between taxed and tax-exempt entities. That provision provides:

(b) The board is authorized to make additions and revisions to the assessment roll of persons and property subject to local taxation at any time in the year, so long as the notice provisions are complied with. All additions and revisions shall be a supplement to the assessment roll for levy and collection of taxes for the tax year for which the assessment roll was originally prepared, in addition to being added to the assessment roll for the following calendar or fiscal tax years.

72 P.S. § 5020-505(b).

The trial court affirmed the Board, holding that as a ...


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