The Commonwealth Court en banc held that a tax appeal from an interim assessment dated September 27, 2012 was properly preserved, notwithstanding that the taxpayer did not appeal a subsequent assessment that reflected a tax abatement under the Local Economic Revitalization Tax Assistance Act (LERTA). 525 Lancaster Ave. Apts., LP v. Berks County Board of Assessment Appeals, No. 2144 C.D. 2013 (Pa. Commw. Mar. 20, 2015). After the September 24, 2012 interim assessment had been appealed, a notice dated January 29, 2013 stated that the taxpayer’s assessment was reduced effective October 1, 2010 to reflect the LERTA tax abatement. The taxpayer did not appeal the January 29 notice. Subsequently, the Board of Assessment Appeals moved to dismiss the taxpayer’s appeal from the September, 2012 assessment on the grounds that the appeal was moot due to the January 29, 2013 reassessment. The court held that the LERTA reassessment did not moot the pending appeal. The LERTA reassessment simply expressed the abatement in the assessment. Thus, the question of valuation, apart from the abatement, was not resolved. The court noted that the assessment statute contemplates the possibility of a valuation appeal as well as an abatement appeal. The court further noted that an assessment appeal automatically incorporates appeals from assessments and subsequent periods. Therefore, the LERTA reassessment was incorporated into the pending valuation appeal and need not be separately appealed.
A dissenting opinion took the position that the majority was incorrectly applying assessment rules to a LERTA assessment.