See other bills
under the
same topic
PRINTER'S NO. 794
THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF PENNSYLVANIA
SENATE BILL
No.
718
Session of
2023
INTRODUCED BY ARGALL, FONTANA, DUSH, DiSANTO, COSTA, SCHWANK,
CULVER, BREWSTER, STEFANO AND REGAN, MAY 31, 2023
REFERRED TO URBAN AFFAIRS AND HOUSING, MAY 31, 2023
AN ACT
Amending Title 53 (Municipalities Generally) of the Pennsylvania
Consolidated Statutes, in consolidated county assessment,
further providing 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. Section 8855 of Title 53 of the Pennsylvania
Consolidated Statutes is amended to read:
§ 8855. Appeals by taxing districts.
(a) General rule.--Subject to the provisions of subsection
(b):
(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.
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
(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:
(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:
(A) that affect the safety elements of the
property, including, but not limited to, operating,
lighting, alarm and suppression systems and devices
related to fire and security; or
(B) as required by fair housing or disability
laws and regulations.
(2) A taxing district has the right to appeal an
assessment as provided in section 8855.1 (relating to
standards of redress in appeals) only if one of the following
conditions is met:
(i) the appeal is from an assessment created during
a countywide reassessment and the appeal is filed by the
first day of September or the annual appeal date
established by the county commissioners as provided in
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 away
20230SB0718PN0794 - 2 -
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
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.
(3) A taxable person shall have the right at any stage
of the proceedings to request the dismissal of, and the
applicable court shall dismiss, an appeal taken by a taxing
district in violation of paragraph (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
the initial application or reapply for the same preferential
assessment based solely on the appeal.
(5) An affected taxable person shall have the right to
appeal any increased assessment that occurred as a result of
an appeal brought by a taxing district prior to the enactment
of this subsection but after the date of the most recent
applicable countywide reassessment, except 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 this section. If an
affected taxable person has the right to bring an appeal
under this paragraph, the affected taxable person shall have
the right to have the assessed value of its property changed
to the assessed value in effect immediately prior to the
appeal brought by the taxing district. The affected taxable
person shall not be entitled to a refund of taxes paid for an
20230SB0718PN0794 - 3 -
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
appeal adjudicated finally before the effective date of this
subsection.
(6) This subsection shall apply to appeals brought by a
taxing district that have not been adjudicated finally before
the effective date of this subsection.
(c) Applicability.--This section shall apply in all counties
of this Commonwealth.
Section 2. Title 53 is amended by adding a section to read:
§ 8855.1. Standards of redress in appeals.
(a) Burden of proof.--In any appeal brought before any board
of assessment or court of this Commonwealth, the taxing district
seeking to increase the assessment shall have the burden to
prove by a preponderance of the evidence that the proposed
assessment will not be inconsistent with the requirements of
section 1 of Article VIII of the Constitution of Pennsylvania
that all taxes be uniform and levied and collected under general
laws.
(b) Evidence.--
(1) In determining whether a proposed assessment would
or would not 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 a property and need not introduce into evidence an
appraisal of the property. A taxing district may not enter
into evidence any property that was subject to an assessment
change in violation of section 8855(b) (relating to appeals
by taxing districts).
(2) 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:
20230SB0718PN0794 - 4 -
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
(i) the amount provided by section 8844(e)(2)
(relating to notices, appeals and certification of
values); or
(ii) an amount reasonably consistent with the
assessed values of similar properties located in the same
neighborhood or local community.
(c) This section shall apply to:
(1) Appeals that have not been adjudicated finally
before the effective date of this section.
(2) All counties of this Commonwealth.
Section 3. This act shall take effect in 60 days.
20230SB0718PN0794 - 5 -
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11