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SHADYSIDE HOSPITAL APPEAL (03/24/66)

decided: March 24, 1966.

SHADYSIDE HOSPITAL APPEAL


Appeal from order of County Court of Allegheny County, No. A 409 of 1960, in re appeal of Shadyside Hospital from Board of Property Assessment, Appeals and Review of Allegheny County.

COUNSEL

Maurice Louik, County Solicitor, with him Thomas M. Rutter, Jr., Assistant County Solicitor, and Francis A. Barry, First Assistant County Solicitor, for appellant.

Joseph C. Swaim, Jr., with him Kirkpatrick, Pomeroy, Lockhart & Johnson, for appellee.

Wright, Watkins, Montgomery, Jacobs, and Hoffman, JJ. (Ervin, P. J., and Flood, J., absent). Opinion by Montgomery, J. Watkins, J., dissents.

Author: Montgomery

[ 207 Pa. Super. Page 262]

Shadyside Hospital, a large nonprofit corporation, is exempt from local taxes on its main building and grounds as a charitable institution. In 1958 it purchased from a member of its medical staff the residence of that member which is contiguous to the hospital's main property. Said residence is a two and one-half story structure of approximately fourteen rooms and three baths, and rests on a lot of ground fronting sixty feet on South Aiken Avenue with a depth of 160 feet, the rear line of which is common with the line of the grounds of the hospital proper. There is a walkway connecting the two areas. Since October 1, 1958, this residence has been used by personnel of the hospital, i.e., four registered nurses, one licensed practical nurse and one senior operating room technician, for residential purposes, each paying a rental varying from $20 to $30 per month. Some space is also reserved by the hospital for storage and emergency purposes, as for setting up cots for other hospital personnel to enable them to sleep near the hospital during periods when

[ 207 Pa. Super. Page 263]

    travel is made difficult by storms, etc., or their presence is otherwise required on short notice. The rentals are much below those charged by neighboring apartment houses and are insufficient to defray the expenses incurred by the hospital in operating this unit. Annual deficits of between $1,600 and $2,050 have been paid from the general funds of the hospital since it was acquired in 1958. The hospital supplies electricity, gas, water, sewerage, housekeeping, linens, repairs and general maintenance for this unit, as well as a telephone between it and the hospital.

Although nursing personnel of the hospital are not required to live in this residence as a condition of employment, it is necessary for some of such persons to be available on short notice.

In the opinion of the administrator of the hospital and the directress of nurses that such a facility is necessary for the proper operation of the hospital and the use to which it is being put was one contemplated by the hospital board when it purchased the property.

Appellee's claim for tax exemption for the residence for 1959 and 1960 having been denied by the Board for the Assessment and Revision of Taxes (Board), it appealed to the County Court of Allegheny County which, after hearing, reversed the Board and allowed exemption. This appeal by the Board followed.

[ 207 Pa. Super. Page 264]

Appellee's claim of exemption is based on Article 9, Section 1, of the Pennsylvania Constitution and the Act of May 22, 1933, P. L. 853, § 204, as amended, 72 P.S. § 5020.204. The general status of appellee as a charitable institution being admitted, the only issue before us is whether the use to which the residence is being put is reasonably necessary for the occupancy and enjoyment of the hospital. The fact that some income is derived from the use of the property is not determinative of the issue, so long as there is no intent to profit and no actual profit is made. Young Men's Christian Association Page 264} of Pittsburgh Tax Case, 383 Pa. 176, 117 A.2d 743 (1955); Salvation Army v. Allegheny County, 367 Pa. 373, 80 A.2d 758 (1951); Barnes ...


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