RELATED TO TAXATION; BOARD OF REVISION OF TAXES
                 Act of Jun. 27, 1939, P.L. 1199, No. 404             Cl. 53
                                  AN ACT

     Relating to the assessment of real and personal property and
        other subjects of taxation in counties of the first class;
        providing for the appointment of members of the board of
        revision of taxes by the judges of the courts of common
        pleas; providing for the appointment, by the board, of
        personal property assessors, real estate assessors and
        assistant real estate assessors, clerks and other employes;
        fixing the salaries of members of the board, assessors and
        assistant assessors, and providing for the payment of
        salaries and expenses from the county treasury; prescribing
        the powers and duties of the board and of the assessors, the
        time and manner of making assessments, of the revision and
        notice of assessments and of appeals therefrom; prescribing
        the records of assessments; and repealing existing laws.

        Compiler's Note:  Section 4 of Act 88 of 1989 provided that
            Act 404 is repealed insofar as it is inconsistent with
            that act.

        The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
     hereby enacts as follows:

        Section 1.  That the board of revision of taxes in counties
     of the first class shall consist of seven competent and
     qualified citizens, who shall be appointed for terms of six
     years. The salary of each member of the board shall be ten
     thousand dollars per annum, except in the case of the chairman
     of the board, whose salary shall be ten thousand five hundred
     dollars per annum.
        Section 1.1.  The following words and phrases when used in
     this act shall have, unless the context clearly indicates
     otherwise, the meanings given to them in this section:
        "Base year" shall mean the year upon which real property
     market values are based for the most recent county-wide revision
     of assessment of real property, or other prior year upon which
     the market value of all real property of the county is based.
     Real property market values shall be equalized within the county
     and any changes by the board shall be expressed in terms of such
     base year values.
        "Board" shall mean the board of revision of taxes in counties
     of the first class.
        "Common level ratio" shall mean the ratio of assessed value
     to current market value used generally in the county as last
     determined by the State Tax Equalization Board pursuant to the
     act of June 27, 1947 (P.L.1046, No.447), referred to as the
     State Tax Equalization Board Law.
        "Established predetermined ratio" shall mean the ratio of
     assessed value to market value established and uniformly applied
     in determining assessed value in any year.
        (1.1 added Dec. 13, 1982, P.L.1182, No.271)
        Section 2.  The members of the board of revision of taxes in
     counties of the first class holding office on the effective date
     of this act shall continue to hold office until the expiration
     of the terms for which they have been appointed. After the
     effective date of this act, all appointments of members of the
     board in counties of the first class shall be made by a majority
     of the judges of the courts of common pleas of the county, and
     said judges shall appoint a member of the board for the full
     term of six years whenever, after the effective date of this
     act, any vacancy shall occur, whether by reason of the
     termination of an incumbent's term, his death, resignation or
     removal.
        Section 3.  The board shall organize within fifty days after
     this amending act becomes effective, to select a chairman, vice-
     chairman, and secretary from among its members; and thereafter,
     whenever a vacancy shall exist or happen in any of such offices,
     the board shall thereupon meet and select one of its members to
     fill such vacancy. Each member of the board hereafter selected
     as chairman, vice-chairman or secretary, either upon the
     organization of the board or to fill any vacancy, shall hold
     such office until the expiration of his term as a member of the
     board. Each member of the board shall give bond in such amount
     and with surety or sureties as the tax-levying body of the
     county shall approve, conditioned for the faithful performance
     of his duties as a member of the board.
        (3 amended May 20, 1949, P.L.1507, No.453)
        Section 4.  The board shall appoint, for terms of six years
     each, a chief personal property assessor whose salary shall be
     seven thousand five hundred dollars per annum, eight personal
     property assessors each of whose salaries shall be five thousand
     dollars per annum, thirty-six real estate assessors, each of
     whose salaries shall be five thousand dollars per annum, and
     thirty-six assistant real estate assessors each of whose
     salaries shall be two thousand five hundred dollars per annum.
     Upon the occurrence of any vacancy in any of said offices, the
     board shall appoint a successor for the full term of six years.
     The board may from time to time increase the number of personal
     property assessors, real estate assessors, and assistant real
     estate assessors appointed by it, as it shall find necessary,
     subject, however, to the approval of the tax-levying body of the
     county. The board shall also appoint such number of clerks,
     stenographers and other office employes as the board shall find
     necessary to serve at the pleasure of the board, whose
     compensation shall be fixed by the tax-levying body of the
     county.
        Section 5.  The board shall divide the county into personal
     property assessment districts and real estate assessments
     districts, and may from time to time increase or diminish the
     number of such districts and change and alter the boundaries
     thereof; and the board shall make assignments of assessors to
     such districts, which assignments may be changed in the
     discretion of the board.
        Section 6.  The board shall establish records of real
     property assessments, which shall include a complete survey of
     each parcel of ground and of each building and other improvement
     in the county, and a record thereof, showing in detail the
     description, character and size of the land and buildings and
     other improvements, together with the name and address of the
     owner or owners thereof, and the amounts for which such land,
     buildings and improvements, respectively, stand assessed, and
     the basis upon which such assessments were made. Such records
     shall be set up as soon as conveniently may be after the
     effective date of this act, and, subject to the provisions of
     this act, shall be in such form as the board shall determine.
     After the completion of such records, any change in the physical
     condition of the land, buildings or improvements of any parcel,
     any division thereof and any change in the ownership thereof,
     and any change in the assessed valuation thereof, shall be noted
     on the records. Any taxable inhabitant of the county shall have
     the right, at any time during office hours, to examine such
     records. The board shall prescribe the duties of the assessors
     in connection with the establishment and maintenance of such
     records.
        Section 7.  The board shall issue annually, at such time as
     the board shall determine, its precepts to the real estate
     assessors assigned to the various real estate assessment
     districts, and the assessors shall, upon the receipt of such
     precepts, value each parcel of real property located within the
     districts to which they are assigned, and shall return such
     valuations to the board upon such date as the board shall
     provide. Such return shall be in such form as the board shall
     prescribe, but shall require the assessors to value separately
     the land and the improvements thereon in the case of each parcel
     of real property. The assessors shall also ascertain, and shall
     note in their returns, any division of any parcel, any change in
     the physical condition of the land or of the improvements
     located thereon, including the destruction or demolition of
     improvements and the erection of new improvements, and any
     change in the ownership thereof, occurring after the last
     preceding return was filed for such parcel, and such changes
     shall be noted on the records to be maintained by the board as
     provided in section six of this act.
        (7 amended Dec. 13, 1982, P.L.1182, No.271)
        Section 8.  Upon the date fixed for receiving the returns of
     the assessors, the board shall proceed to examine the returns
     and inquire whether the same have been made in conformity with
     the laws of this Commonwealth, and whether all property has been
     valued as provided in this act, and may revise, alter and amend
     the valuations by raising or lowering the valuations either in
     individual cases or by districts, shall rectify all errors and
     make valuations where they have been omitted. The board shall
     complete its revision of the assessments on or before the third
     Monday of September of each year. The assessments made by the
     assessors, as revised and supplemented by the board, subject to
     appeal therefrom as hereinafter in this act provided, shall
     constitute the assessed value for tax purposes of real property
     located in the county for the next ensuing calendar year.
        Section 9.  As soon as the real property assessments shall
     have been completed as above provided, the board shall prepare a
     statement in such form as will show the assessed values of all
     real property within the county. Such statement may be in book
     form, and shall be posted or made available for public
     inspection at such places throughout the county as the board
     shall deem necessary. Copies of such statements may also be sold
     in such manner and at such price as the board shall determine.
     The proceeds of such sales shall be paid into the county
     treasury.
        Section 10.  (a)  At least ten days prior to the first Monday
     in October of each year, the board shall give printed or written
     notice to the registered owners of all real property situated
     within the county, the assessment, valuation and ratio upon
     which has been increased or decreased, specifying the change
     made from the last preceding assessment, valuation and ratio,
     and setting forth that an appeal may be filed from such
     assessment on or before the first Monday of October, and stating
     as definitely as possible the time or times at which appeals
     will be heard by the board. Every such notice shall be given
     either by mailing or delivering the same to the address of the
     owner as shown upon the records of the board, or by posting upon
     the assessed property.
        (b)  Notice similar to that provided for in subsection (a)
     shall be given when the county changes the established
     predetermined ratio.
        (10 amended Dec. 13, 1982, P.L.1182, No.271)
        Section 11.  With regard to the assessment of personal
     property, the board and the personal property assessors shall
     have, as heretofore, all the duties provided in the act,
     approved the seventeenth day of June, one thousand nine hundred
     and thirteen (Pamphlet Laws, five hundred and seven), entitled
     "An act to provide revenue for State and county purposes, and,
     in cities coextensive with counties, for city and county
     purposes; imposing taxes upon certain classes of personal
     property; providing for the assessment and collection of the
     same; providing for the duties and compensation of
     prothonotaries and recorders in connection therewith; and
     modifying existing legislation which provided for raising
     revenue for State purposes," and the amendments and supplements
     thereto.
        Section 12.  It shall be the further duty of the board, when
     necessary, to provide for the valuation and assessment of all
     subjects of taxation which may hereafter be made taxable by the
     county, or any city or other municipal subdivision of the
     Commonwealth located in or coterminous in its boundaries with
     the county, to prescribe the duties of the assessors appointed
     by it in connection with such valuation and assessment, to
     supervise and revise such assessments, and to give such notice
     as the board shall consider reasonable of such assessments and
     of the time for appeal therefrom.
        Section 13.  (a)  All property within the county now or
     hereafter made taxable by law, shall be valued by the assessors
     and assessed by the board at the actual value thereof. In
     arriving at actual value the county may utilize the current
     market value or it may adopt a base year market value.
        (b)  The board shall assess real property at a value based
     upon an established predetermined ratio which may not exceed one
     hundred percent of actual value. Such ratio shall be established
     and determined by the governing body after proper notice has
     been given.
        (c)  In arriving at actual value, the price at which any
     property may actually have been sold, either in the base year or
     in the current taxable year, shall be considered but shall not
     be controlling. In arriving at the actual value, all three
     methods, namely, cost (reproduction or replacement, as
     applicable, less depreciation and all forms of obsolescence),
     comparable sales and income approaches, must be considered in
     conjunction with one another.
        (d)  The board shall apply the established predetermined
     ratio to the actual value of all real property to formulate the
     assessment roll.
        (13 amended Dec. 13, 1982, P.L.1182, No.271)
        Section 14.  (a)  Any person aggrieved by any assessment as
     the same shall be fixed following revision of assessments by the
     board, may file an appeal therefrom with the board. Appeals from
     real estate assessments shall be filed on or before the first
     Monday of October. Other appeals shall be filed within the time
     fixed by law, or in cases in which no time is provided by law,
     within such time as the board shall prescribe. The board shall
     set a time or times at which it shall hear all appeals which
     have been properly filed.
        (b)  In any appeal of an assessment the board shall make the
     following determinations:
        (1)  The current market value for the tax year in question.
        (2)  The common level ratio.
        (c)  The board, after determining the current market value of
     the property for the tax year in question, shall then apply the
     established predetermined ratio to such value unless the common
     level ratio varies by more than fifteen percent from the
     established predetermined ratio, in which case the board shall
     apply the common level ratio to the current market value of the
     property for the tax year in question.
        (d)  Nothing herein shall prevent any appellant from
     appealing any base year valuation without reference to ratio.
        (e)  The board shall complete its hearings of appeals and
     shall dispose of all appeals before it as promptly as possible.
        (14 amended Dec. 13, 1982, P.L.1182, No.271)
        Section 14.1.  With respect to the assessment of personal
     property, it shall be the duty of the board to hear appeals,
     whenever it is in session, at any time subsequent to the time
     prescribed for appeals and previous to the payment of the tax,
     and to make such revision thereof as shall appear to the board
     to be just and reasonable, in the same manner as it might have
     done at the time prescribed for appeals from personal property
     assessments. No such appeal shall be heard unless the person
     aggrieved by any assessment shall have given due notice thereof
     to the personal property assessor of the proper district.
        (14.1 added July 19, 1951, P.L.1083, No.236)
        Section 15.  (a)  Any person aggrieved by the disposition
     made by the board of any appeal may file a petition for review
     of the assessment in the court of common pleas of the county,
     and may appeal from the decision made thereon by the court of
     common pleas.
        (b)  In any appeal of an assessment the court shall make the
     following determinations:
        (1)  The current market value for the tax year in question.
        (2)  The common level ratio.
        (c)  The court after determining the current market value of
     the property for the tax year in question shall then apply the
     established predetermined ratio to such value unless the common
     level ratio varies by more than fifteen percent from the
     established predetermined ratio, in which case the court shall
     apply the common level ratio to the current market value of the
     property for the tax year in question.
        (d)  Nothing herein shall prevent any appellant from
     appealing any base year valuation without reference to ratio.
        (15 amended Dec. 13, 1982, P.L.1182, No.271 and repealed Dec.
     20, 1982, P.L.1409, No.326. The text is carried since the
     amendment by Act 271 is to be given effect. The repeal by Act
     326, which technically may be effective, affects only
     subsec.(a))
        Section 16.  The board shall, on or before the first day of
     October of each year, report to the tax-levying body of the
     county its estimate of the aggregate of the assessments of all
     subjects of taxation within the county; and, as promptly as
     possible after all appeals have been heard, it shall certify to
     the tax-levying body the aggregate of all such assessments, as
     they appear upon the records of the board.
        Section 17.  The board shall have exclusive custody and
     control of all books and records relating to the assessment of
     subjects of taxation within the county. In addition to the
     records prescribed in section six of this act, the board shall
     prepare and maintain books or other suitable records of the
     assessments made upon all subjects of taxation within the
     county, which records shall include a description of the
     property or other subject of taxation, the amount of the
     assessment thereof, and the name and address of the person or
     persons taxable. In the case of real property assessments, such
     books or records shall be in conformity with the book of plans
     furnished by the chief engineer and surveyor, or similar
     officer, of the county, and shall be arranged according to wards
     and dates. Upon completion of the annual assessment, the board
     shall prepare copies of such books or records, and shall
     transmit copies thereof to the officer or officers charged with
     the duty of collecting taxes in the county, and to the county
     controller.
        Section 18.  The board shall receive and have custody of
     duplicate copies of all official surveys made within the county.
        Section 19.  The board may prescribe such duties of assessors
     and others appointed by it, in addition to the duties prescribed
     in this act, as the board shall find necessary in order to carry
     out the provisions of this act. The board may prescribe such
     qualifications for assessors and other appointees of the board,
     as it shall find desirable. So far as possible the board shall,
     in making appointments, advance existing appointees or employes
     of the board.
        Section 20.  For the purpose of performing the duties
     prescribed by this act or otherwise prescribed by law, each
     member of the board, each assessor, and such other employes of
     the board as the board shall designate, shall have authority to
     administer oaths and affirmations.
        Section 21.  All salaries provided for in this act and the
     proper expenses of the board shall be paid out of the treasury
     of the county.