Joseph A. Fitzpatrick, Jr., founder and shareholder of Fitzpatrick Lentz & Bubba, recently spoke to 250 stakeholders from the transportation, logistics and warehousing industries at the first Freight Summit in Pennsylvania. The event, hosted jointly by the Lehigh Valley Planning Commission and the Tri-County Regional and Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commissions, was held at Lehigh University on June 21 and 22.
Mr. Fitzpatrick and senior executives from the transportation industry addressed “Multimodal: How are ports and railroads addressing changes in supply chains and growing freight volume?”. The 90-minute round table covered practical and technical advances and challenges in moving freight in a multitude of variations involving rail, maritime and ports.
“It is not coincidental that the first Pennsylvania Freight Summit was here in the Lehigh Valley” commented Mr. Fitzpatrick. “We are situated in the eastern crossroads of the nation’s fastest-growing regions for transportation hubs, freight and logistics activity.”
A key Pennsylvania case decision which was handled by Mr. Fitzpatrick and his firm had been handed down by Pennsylvania’s Commonwealth Court in 2018. This was a focus of Fitzpatrick’s presentation. Although the case arose as a challenge to property taxes on public utility features of railroad properties, the decision expanded and modernized over 100 years of debate relating to the definition of railroad right-of-way and special tax treatment for railway properties. Lehigh Valley Rail Management vs. Northampton County Board of Assessment Appeals, Pa. Cmwlth. Ct. 2018, 2531 C.D. 2015