New Castle News

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June 8, 2013

Neshannock, developer reach assessment compromise

NEW CASTLE — Neshannock Township settled a property assessment dispute with BFH Development.

Township solicitor Lou Perrotta told the supervisors that pretrial negotiations Tuesday afternoon resulted in a compromise.

Perrotta said BFH Development Corp. owns about eight acres on Wilmington Road, which it leases to Giant Eagle.

Following an addition and upgrade, the property was assessed at $3.13 million. However, BFH appealed, claiming the assessment for tax purposes should be $1.8 million.

This week, Perrotta said, the compromise was reached when the two sides agreed to an assessed value of $2.95 million. The dispute had been on-going for about five years, he noted.

The Lawrence County commissioners and the Neshannock Township School District also must approve the new figure.

In 2012, Perrotta said, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court determined taxing bodies may tax leasehold interests as part of the total assessment. This means an assessment can include the value of land, buildings and other improvements, regardless of whether the buildings and land were put there by the landlord or the tenant.

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