Is It Arbitrary Or Capricious For A Taxing Authority To Add A Property To Its Tax Rolls In The Same Year As Its Exemption Is Abolished Statutorily ?

In Atlantic City Electric Company v. United School District, 780 A.2d 766 (Pa. Cmwlth. 2001), the Court permitted a local taxing authority to add a formerly exempt property to the tax rolls in the same year that the exemption was statutorily abolished, stating that to do so was not arbitrary or capricious. The Board argues that in reassessing the one-acre parcels based on Shenandoah, it, like the taxing authority in Atlantic City Electric Company, was merely reacting to a change in the law in a timely fashion and that such a reaction was neither arbitrary nor capricious. Although both the Board here and the board in Atlantic City Electric Company relied upon a change in the law to support reassessment, the change in the Atlantic City Electric Company case resulted in a previously unassessed property becoming eligible for assessment and placement on the tax rolls after the yearly assessment had already taken place. As a result of the abolishment of the statutory exemption, the taxing authority in Atlantic City Electric Company could add the equivalent of a new property to its tax rolls and make an initial assessment for local real estate tax purposes.