Is a Television Antenna Tower Subjected to Tax Assessment ?
In City of Pittsburgh v. WIIC-TV Corporation, 321 A.2d 387 (Pa. Cmwlth. 1974), the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County determined that a television antenna tower was excluded from the assessment of a television station's real estate on the basis that the television station was an industrial establishment and that the antenna tower could be categorized as machinery, tools, appliances, and other equipment. WIIC, 321 A.2d at 387.
With respect to whether the television station could be classified as an industrial establishment, this Court determined:
Perhaps the more difficult problem as acknowledged by the court below, is whether the appellee's TV station is an 'industrial establishment' within the meaning of the act.
Here, it is important to note that in interpreting the statutes, all reasonable doubts must be resolved in favor of the taxpayer. . . .
Judge Woodside, speaking for the Superior Court of Pennsylvania, in holding a newspaper plant to be an industrial plant, quoted Judge Guffy of the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County:
'It would seem that the ordinary man would think of a newspaper as an industrial plant, especially if one were to tell him that a laundry or a carpet cleaning company are such for the purpose here being considered.'. . .
By the same token, it would seem that the same ordinary man would think of a TV station as an industrial establishment, especially if one were to tell him that a newspaper plant is such for the purpose here being considered. WIIC, 321 A.2d at 388.