Hangley Aronchick has prevailed on behalf of clients Morgan Properties Abrams Run Owner LP and KBF Associates LP before the Pennsylvania Supreme Court in a heavily watched tax challenge under the Uniformity Clause of the Pennsylvania Constitution. The case, Valley Forge Towers Apartments N. LP et al v. Upper Merion Area School District et al., was the first of its kind before the Court.

The case focused on the Upper Merion Area School District’s practice of appealing the assessments of large commercial properties, such as apartment buildings, but not appealing the assessments of other types of property, such as single family homes that are under-assessed. Lead attorney John Summers argued that the School District’s practice discriminates against commercial property owners because it creates a higher effective tax rate on commercial property than residential property, which violates the Uniformity Clause’s requirement that all property be treated in a uniform manner. The case garnered great interest throughout the Commonwealth as groups representing a wide range of business interests, apartment owners, economists, and school districts filed 13 amici briefs.

Summers argued the appeal before the Pennsylvania Supreme Court in March, and on July 5, 2017, the Court unanimously ruled in our client’s favor, reversing and remanding the Commonwealth Court’s decision.

Summers was joined in this case by his colleagues Mark Aronchick, Matt Hamermesh, and Jon Cochran.


Click here to read the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s decision.

 Click here to learn more about the case and watch John Summers’ argument before the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.