Real Estate Tax Assessments: An Untimely Appeal Will Trigger An Automatic Appeal Of Subsequent Assessments.

Under Pennsylvania’s Consolidated County Assessment Law, when a taxpayer appeals her property tax assessment, any assessment that is issued between the filing of the appeal and its final disposition is deemed to be appealed as well. 53 Pa. C.S.A. § 8854(a)(5).

Recently, the Commonwealth Court dealt with the application of this provision in the context of an unsuccessful nunc pro tunc appeal, ruling that the automatic appeal provision applied. See In re: Appeal of P-Ville Associates, No. 624 C.D. 2013 (Pa. Commw. March 6, 2014).

The taxpayer owned property in Phoenixville that was the subject of an interim re-assessment due to improvements; the assessment notice was issued on June 15, 2011 and was subject to an appeal deadline of July 25, 2011.Read More

Philadelphia Real Estate Tax Assessments-A New Attack, Part II.

This will continue my discussion of the complaint in Gerald S. Kaufman Corp. v. Commonwealth, 652 MD 2012 (Pa. Commw.). As I discussed in my initial post, the case is an attack on legislation that was put in place when City Council deferred the implementation of the Actual Value Initiative; the General Assembly and the council both passed laws that direct that 2013 property taxes be calculated by applying Philadelphia’s predetermined ratio to 2011 values to determine real estate taxes. The plaintiffs note that the 2012 common level ratio for Philadelphia was significantly lower and posit that their right to uniformity in taxation is therefore violated because they will not be able to invoke the common level ratio if they file an appeal.Read More

Philadelphia Real Estate Tax Assessments-A New Attack.

As I have noted in prior posts, Philadelphia’s real estate tax system has been controversial in recent years.  Last week, The Philadelphia Inquirer published an article describing a lawsuit that mounts another challenge to real estate taxes in Philadelphia; the article is available at The reporter, Bob Warner, was kind enough to send me a copy of the complaint, which was filed in Commonwealth Court on October 26, 2012. Gerald S. Kaufman Corp. v. Commonwealth, 652 MD 2012 (Pa. Commw.)

The backstory is pretty straightforward: the City set ought to fix an assessment system that was fairly clearly broken; property taxes were based upon assessments that appeared to have no real basis in fact.Read More