Pennsylvania- Uniformity Rules Supreme

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has issued a landmark decision in Valley Forge Towers Apartments v. Upper Merion Area School District. The Court held that School District’s practice of targeting properties to appeal by type or classification is unconstitutional, in violation of the Uniformity Clause.

In essence, the Court ruled a taxing authority is not permitted to implement a program of only appealing the assessments of one sub-classification of properties, where that sub-classification is drawn according to property type – that is, its use as commercial, apartment complex, single-family residential, industrial, or the like. All real estate in a taxing district is considered to form a single collective class that is to be treated uniformly.

The open question is whether this decision will lead to more jurisdiction wide revaluations in Pennsylvania to achieve uniformity of real property assessments.