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Property owners who occupy unusual or large properties are susceptible to inappropriate assessments. Pennsylvania law mandates that property be assessed at a value reflecting the price upon which a willing buyer and seller could agree.

However, in order to simplify the appraisal problem, assessors often view properties like large manufacturing facilities or corporate headquarters from the standpoint of the value to the actual user and rely on the cost of construction to estimate value. Their theory holds that the property is worth what it cost to build. Thus, the assessor doesn’t have to deal with the problem of what the market would discount for the unusual design or size of the property.

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