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In re Appeal of Maoying Yu

Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania

July 21, 2015

In Re: Appeal of Maoying Yu from the Delaware County Board of Assessment and Revision of Taxes Folio #14-00-01186-00 Municipality: Darby Borough Address: 110 N. Front Street Assessment For the Year Beginning January 1, 2013 Property of: Maoying Yu; Appeal of: William Penn School District

Argued June 17, 2015

Appealed from No. 2012-010354. Common Pleas Court of the County of Delaware. Green, J.

Joseph J. McAlee, New Britain, for appellant.

Kevin J. McGarrey, Lester, for appellee Maoying Yu.

BEFORE: HONORABLE DAN PELLEGRINI, President Judge, HONORABLE BERNARD L. McGINLEY, Judge, HONORABLE BONNIE BRIGANCE LEADBETTER, Judge, HONORABLE RENÉE COHN JUBELIRER, Judge, HONORABLE ROBERT SIMPSON, Judge, HONORABLE P. KEVIN BROBSON, Judge, HONORABLE PATRICIA A. McCULLOUGH, Judge.

OPINION

Page 577

P. KEVIN BROBSON, J.

Maoying Yu (Taxpayer) initiated this matter by filing a Petition for Review of Assessment (Petition for Review) with the Court of Common Pleas of Delaware County (trial court). Taxpayer's Petition for Review challenged the denial of her tax assessment appeal for tax year 2013 by the Delaware County Board of Assessment Appeals (Board). After Taxpayer filed her Petition for Review, the Board issued a revised tax assessment, reducing the assessed value of Taxpayer's property (Property). In response, Taxpayer unilaterally discontinued her appeal of the original tax assessment by filing a Praecipe to Withdraw

Page 578

Appeal (Praecipe to Withdraw). Thereafter, William Penn School District (School District) filed a Petition to Strike Praecipe to Withdraw Appeal (Petition to Strike), which the trial court denied by order dated April 8, 2014. On appeal, the School District argues that: (1) the trial court erred by denying its Petition to Strike and not striking Taxpayer's discontinuance of her original tax assessment appeal; and (2) the trial court erred in refusing to void the revised assessment for Taxpayer's Property and reinstate the original assessment for her Property.[1] We now reverse.

Taxpayer's Property, located at 110 N. Front Street in Darby Borough, Pennsylvania, was initially assessed at $45,070 for the year beginning January 1, 2013. Following Taxpayer's appeal of her assessment to the Board, the Board denied her appeal on November 15, 2012, thereby maintaining the Property's assessment at $45,070 (Initial Decision). (Reproduced Record (R.R.) at 29a.) Taxpayer, thereafter, filed her Petition for Review of the Board's Initial Decision with the trial court on December 17, 2012,[2] and the School District timely intervened on January 9, 2013. (Trial Ct. Op. at 2.)

On December 18, 2012, however, after Taxpayer had already filed her Petition for Review with the trial court, the Board issued a revision to its Initial Decision (Revised Decision). (R.R. at 34a.) Using strikethroughs and interlineations, the Board's Revised Decision, dated December 18, 2012, purported to reduce Taxpayer's assessment for 2013 to $21,600. There is no explanation in the record or the parties' briefs as to why the Board issued its Revised Decision. Thereafter, on April 2, 2013, Taxpayer filed with the trial court's Office of Judicial Support, a Praecipe to Withdraw Appeal, indicating that the matter has been " Settled, Discontinued, and Ended." (R.R. at 15a.)

The School District filed its Petition to Strike on July 5, 2013. (R.R. at 18a.) Therein, the School District asserted that this case was discussed at the trial court's Call of the List held on March 22, 2013. The School District alleged that " [a]t the Call of the List, . . . Taxpayer's [c]ounsel stated that in view of the 'revised'" tax assessment, the Petition for Review would be withdrawn. (R.R. at 19a.) Moreover,

Page 579

as alleged in the Petition to Strike, the School District's Solicitor advised Taxpayer's counsel that the School District would not consent to the withdrawal, because the Revised Decision of the Board was void ab initio and the Board lost jurisdiction to ...


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