Can a School District Appeal a Property Assessment Even Though No Triggering Event Has Occured ?
In Millcreek Township Sch. Dist. v. Erie County Bd. of Assessment Appeals, 737 A.2d 335 (Pa. Cmwlth. 1999), the county did not initiate a new assessment; rather, a school district initiated an appeal, which the board denied.
The trial court also dismissed the appeal, concluding to permit the school district to appeal would violate the uniformity clause.
The Court reversed, concluding that school districts lack the power to assess, and therefore the prohibition against spot reassessment does not apply to appealing school districts.
Additionally, in Millcreek the Court rejected the argument that absent a "triggering event" listed in the applicable statute, the school district could not appeal a property assessment.
The Court held school districts retain the same appeal and procedural due process rights as individual property owners.
As such, neither a property owner nor a taxing district is prohibited from appealing an assessment event even though no triggering event occurred.
The "exercise of appeal rights by both the school district and the property owner, will ensure that the uniformity required by our state constitution is maintained." Id. at 339.