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PRESBYTERIAN HOMES TAX EXEMPTION CASE (01/03/68)

decided: January 3, 1968.

PRESBYTERIAN HOMES TAX EXEMPTION CASE


Appeals from order of Court of Common Pleas of Centre County, Oct. T., 1965, No. 370, in re tax appeal of United Presbyterian Homes of the Presbytery of Huntingdon.

COUNSEL

Walter M. Swoope, with him David L. Baird, and Bell, Silberblatt & Swoope, and Baird, McCamley & Miller, for appellants.

Austin O. Furst, with him Furst and Furst, for appellee.

Bell, C. J., Jones, Cohen, Eagen, O'Brien and Roberts, JJ. Opinion by Mr. Chief Justice Bell. Mr. Justice Cohen concurs in the result. Mr. Justice Musmanno took no part in the consideration or decision of this case.

Author: Bell

[ 428 Pa. Page 146]

Two local taxing authorities -- the Borough of Philipsburg and the Philipsburg-Osceola School District -- have appealed from the Order of the Court below, which ruled that a Home for the Aged operated by the appellee

[ 428 Pa. Page 147]

(Presbyterian Homes) was a charity and thus qualified for exemption from real estate tax.

Presbyterian Homes is a Pennsylvania nonprofit corporation affiliated with The United Presbyterian Church and was formed "for the purpose of establishing and maintaining homes for the aged or other dependent persons. . . ." In 1961, Presbyterian Homes acquired the former Hotel Philips located in the Borough of Philipsburg, which, following extensive renovation, has been used as a Home for the Aged. This property is the subject of the appeal.

Article VI of the charter of Presbyterian Homes provides in part as follows: "The corporation has no capital stock; the income, revenue and support of the said corporation shall consist of voluntary offerings, gifts, donations, contributions, bequests and devises from the members thereof, and from any other person or persons, association or corporation, made or to be made in conformity to the laws of Pennsylvania, and the same is to be applied to promote the purposes for which the said corporation is formed. . . ."

Presbyterian Homes was established by the Huntingdon Presbytery from gifts and contributions made by its members and friends. A fund-raising campaign raised in excess of $340,000. Admission to the Home is not restricted to members of any particular class (other than the aged), and admission is available (as will hereinafter more fully appear) to those who are unable to meet the usual charges of the Home as well as those who can afford to pay.

Admission to the Home is generally limited to applicants who are at least 65 years of age, and admission is made under one of the following plans:

1. The Life-Care-Boarding Plan. Under this plan, the applicant agrees to pay for room, board, laundry, normal care and infirmary care in such amounts as may be ...


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