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A01927
THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF PENNSYLVANIA
HOUSE BILL
No.
1213
Session of
2017
INTRODUCED BY KAMPF, GODSHALL, McGINNIS, NEILSON, RYAN,
ZIMMERMAN, BENNINGHOFF, WHEELAND, MUSTIO, COX AND TURZAI,
APRIL 19, 2017
REFERRED TO COMMITTEE ON COMMERCE, APRIL 19, 2017
AN ACT
Amending Title 53 (Municipalities Generally) of the Pennsylvania
Consolidated Statutes, in consolidated county assessment,
further providing for short title and scope of chapter and
for appeals by taxing districts and providing for standards
of redress in appeals.
The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
hereby enacts as follows:
Section 1. Sections 8801(b)(2) and 8855 of Title 53 of the
Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes are amended to read:
§ 8801. Short title and scope of chapter.
* * *
(b) Scope.--
* * *
(2) In addition to the applicability under paragraph
(1), the following provisions apply to counties of the first
and second class:
(i) Section 8811(b)(5) (relating to subjects of
local taxation).
(ii) Section 8842(b)(2) (relating to valuation of
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property).
(iii) Section 8855 (relating to appeals by taxing
districts).
(iv) Section 8855.1 (relating to standards of
redress in appeals).
§ 8855. Appeals by taxing districts.
(a) General rule.--Subject to the provisions of subsection
(b), the following shall apply:
(1) A taxing district shall have the right to appeal any
assessment within its jurisdiction in the same manner,
subject to the same procedure and with like effect as if the
appeal were taken by a taxable person with respect to the
assessment, and, in addition, may take an appeal from any
decision of the board or court of common pleas as though it
had been a party to the proceedings before the board or court
even though it was not a party in fact.
(2) A taxing district [authority] may intervene in any
appeal by a taxable person under section 8854 (relating to
appeals to court) as a matter of right.
(b) Basis of appeals.--
(1) A taxing district may not appeal the assessment of
property based on the following:
(i) purchase or sale of the property;
(ii) purchase or sale of a partial or total interest
in the entity holding legal title to the property;
(iii) financing or refinancing of the property; or
(iv) investments in the property as follows:
(A) investments that affect the safety elements
of the property, including, but not limited to,
operating, lighting, alarm and suppression systems
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and devices related to fire and security; or
(B) investments as required by fair housing or
disability laws and regulations.
(2) A taxing district has the right to appeal an
assessment under section 8855.1 (relating to standards of
redress in appeals) only when one or more of the following
are met:
(i) the appeal is from an assessment created during
a countywide reassessment and the appeal is filed by
September 1 or the annual appeal date provided by the
county commissioners under section 8844(c)(3) (relating
to notices, appeals and certification of values) of the
taxable year following the year for which the newly
established values from the countywide reassessment shall
take effect;
(ii) a parcel of land is divided and conveyed in
smaller parcels; or
(iii) a change has occurred in the productive use of
the property or parcel by material alteration in the
nature of the use or through alteration or additions that
modify the use of the property or parcel.
(3) A taxable person shall have the right at any stage
of the proceedings to request the dismissal, and the
applicable court shall order dismissal of an appeal taken by
a taxing district in violation of paragraphs (1) or (2).
(4) If an affected taxable person appeals an assessment
of property that was granted a preferential assessment under
the act of December 19, 1974 (P.L.973, No.319), known as the
Pennsylvania Farmland and Forest Land Assessment Act of 1974,
the affected taxable person shall not be required to amend
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the initial application or reapply for the same preferential
assessment based solely on the appeal.
(5) (i) A taxable person shall have the right to appeal
an increased assessment that occurred as a result of an
appeal brought by a taxing district prior to the
enactment of this subsection and after the date of the
most recent applicable countywide reassessment.
(ii) No affected taxable person shall have the right to
appeal an increased assessment if the appeal that was
brought by the taxing district would have been consistent
with paragraph (2).
(iii) If an affected taxable person has the right to
bring an appeal under this section, the affected taxable
person shall have the right to have the assessed value of
the property changed to the assessed value in effect
immediately prior to the appeal brought by the taxing
district.
(iv) The affected taxable person shall not be
entitled to a refund of taxes paid for an appeal that has
been finally adjudicated as of the effective date of this
subsection.
(6) This subsection shall apply to appeals brought by a
taxing district that have not been finally adjudicated as of
the effective date of this subsection.
Section 2. Title 53 is amended by adding a section to read:
§ 8855.1. Standards of redress in appeals.
(a) General rule.--In an appeal brought before a board of
assessment or court of this Commonwealth, the taxing district
seeking to increase the assessment shall have the burden to
prove that the proposed assessment is not inconsistent with the
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requirements of section 1 of Article VIII of the Constitution of
Pennsylvania.
(b) Constitutionality.--In determining if a proposed
assessment would violate the requirements of section 1 of
Article VIII of the Constitution of Pennsylvania, a taxable
person or a taxing district may offer into evidence the assessed
value of the property and need not introduce an appraisal of the
property. An assessment shall be deemed to comply with section 1
of Article VIII of the Constitution of Pennsylvania if the
assessed value is the lesser of either:
(1) the amount provided by section 8844(e)(2) (relating
to notices, appeals and certification of values); or
(2) an amount reasonably consistent with the assessed
values of similar properties located in the same neighborhood
or local community.
(c) Applicability.--This section shall apply to appeals that
have not been finally adjudicated as of the effective date of
this section.
Section 3. The provisions of this act are severable. If any
provision of this act or its application to any person or
circumstance is held invalid, the invalidity shall not affect
other provisions or applications of this act which can be given
effect without the invalid provision or application.
Section 4. This act shall take effect in 60 days.
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