PA Court Tax Victory For Billboards

DELAWARE COUNTY, PA — A judge in the Philadelphia market has affirmed that a taxing authority may not use billboards to increase a property’s real estate tax or assessment.

“We are very pleased,” said Patrick Smith of OUTFRONT Media, which litigated the case along with Clear Channel Outdoor and Steen Outdoor Advertising.

On April 27, Court of Common Pleas Judge Charles B. Burr II issued an Order affirming the previous decision by the Delaware County Board of Assessment and Appeals.

The threshold question, wrote Judge Burr, is whether a taxing authority may use the presence of outdoor advertising signs to increase the real property tax basis or assessment. In a clearly worded order (click here), the judge said “no.”

Attorney Alan Kessler of Duane Morris (Philadelphia) who represents OUTFRONT, noted that Pennsylvania law exempts billboards from real property assessment. An appeal is possible.

 


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