This dispute involved the subsurface rights to a property in Rush Township, Centre County, Pennsylvania. The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania was asked to determine whether a 1935 tax sale resulted in the transferring of only the surface rights to the property. The Supreme Court agreed with the Superior Court and upheld the “title wash” tax sale principle, meaning the tax sale resulted in the transfer of the entire property, not merely the surface rights.
In this case out of Philadelphia, the Commonwealth Court was asked to weigh in on a redemption action to reclaim a property sold at a tax sale. In affirming the lower court’s decision, the Commonwealth Court ruled on when a property is considered “vacant property” under the Municipal Claims and Tax Liens Act (the Act) such that it cannot be redeemed after the deed is acknowledged by the Sherriff, and what the time limitations are for making the final payment to redeem a property.