Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Dauphin County in case of In Re: Appeal of City of Harrisbug from Grant of Tax Exemption for Salem Lodge of B'Nai B'Rith Housing Corporation, No. 772 June Term, 1974.
Francis B. Haas, Jr., City Solicitor, for appellant.
Charles E. Friedman, with him Cooper, Friedman & Butler, for appellee.
President Judge Bowman and Judges Crumlish, Jr., Kramer, Wilkinson, Jr., Mencer, Rogers and Blatt. Opinion by Judge Rogers. Concurring Opinion by Judge Kramer. President Judge Bowman and Judge Mencer dissent.
[ 18 Pa. Commw. Page 442]
This case is companion to City of Harrisburg v. Presbyterian Apartments, Inc., 18 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 428, 337 A.2d 297 (1975) (No. 634 C.D. 1974, filed with the opinion in this case) where we affirmed the order, as here, of the Court of Common Pleas of Dauphin County, sustaining an owner's appeal from a denial of exempt status to a project providing low-cost housing for aged persons of limited income.
As we did in that case, we report the facts as reported in the appellant's, the City of Harrisburg, brief:
"B'Nai B'Rith is a Pennsylvania nonprofit corporation organized for the purpose of providing low cost housing for elderly persons. The purposes clause of its Articles of Incorporation, as amended, states that the purpose of the corporation is to provide on a nonprofit basis for elderly or handicapped families and persons rental housing and related facilities and services under the provisions of Section 236 of the National Housing Act. The B'Nai B'Rith Apartments were built under Section 236 to provide housing for elderly persons with medium incomes. The contract between B'Nai B'Rith and the Harrisburg Redevelopment Authority pursuant to which B'Nai B'Rith purchased the land limits the property to the residential use of families of moderate income in accordance with FHA regulations under Sections 236 and 107-A of the National Housing Act. B'Nai B'Rith's mortgage specifically states that the property is to be used for senior citizen housing with an age limit of 62 and over. The initial funding for the organizational expenses of the project was provided by the Federal and state governments, and has been repaid.
"Two municipal approvals were prerequisite to B'Nai B'Rith's being permitted to construct the apartment building: it had to be named developer of the tract by the Harrisburg Redevelopment Authority, and it had to obtain approval of the Harrisburg City Council for conveyance of the land.
[ 18 Pa. Commw. Page 443]
"B'Nai B'Rith's original application to the Department of Housing and Urban Development ("HUD") showed estimated real estate taxes of $31,000. Provision for this $31,000 was reflected in the rent schedule for the apartments.
"B'Nai B'Rith raised the tax payment issue with the Mayor of the City of Harrisburg, and stated that it would pay full taxes, but hoped for a half-value assessment. The budget estimate of $31,000 was based upon the assumption of receiving this half-value assessment.
"B'Nai B'Rith constructed an apartment building, the B'Nai B'Rith Apartments, at 130 Chestnut Street, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. The price of the tract was determined by an appraisal specifically designed to reflect its use for Section 236 senior citizen housing. Construction was financed by a $3,840,600 mortgage with interest at the rate of 7% per annum. Pursuant to the provisions of Section 236 of the National Housing Act, the federal government pays all but 1% ...