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PRESBYTERIAN-UNIVERSITY PENNSYLVANIA MEDICAL CENTER v. BOARD REVISION TAXES (05/13/76)

decided: May 13, 1976.

PRESBYTERIAN-UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA MEDICAL CENTER
v.
BOARD OF REVISION OF TAXES, APPEAL OF CITY OF PHILADELPHIA. THE CITY OF PHILADELPHIA, BOARD OF REVISION OF TAXES, APPELLANT



Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County in case of Presbyterian-University of Pennsylvania Medical Center v. Board of Revision of Taxes, No. 1385 March Term, 1974.

COUNSEL

Howland W. Abramson, with him James M. Penny, Jr., Assistant City Solicitor, Claudia Kapustin, Assistant City Solicitor, Stephen Arinson, Chief Deputy City Solicitor, and Sheldon L. Albert, City Solicitor, for appellant.

William J. Taylor, with him Richard J. Sabat, and, of counsel, Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, for appellee.

President Judge Bowman and Judges Crumlish, Jr., Kramer, Wilkinson, Jr., Mencer, Rogers and Blatt. Opinion by Judge Mencer. President Judge Bowman dissents. Judge Kramer did not participate in the decision in this case.

Author: Mencer

[ 24 Pa. Commw. Page 462]

At issue in this case is the entitlement of appellee, Presbyterian-University of Pennsylvania Medical Center (Hospital), to an exemption from real property taxes for the year 1974, on a 2.34 acre tract of land adjacent to the hospital's main facility. The appellant here, the Board of Revision of Taxes of Philadelphia (Board), denied the hospital's claim to an exemption. On appeal, the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County reversed the Board by an order dated December 26, 1974. The Board filed eleven exceptions to the order of the court below which were dismissed on May 30, 1975. Three of those exceptions were preserved on appeal to this court.

Two of the Board's exceptions deal directly with the exemption issue. We begin our analysis by noting that

[ 24 Pa. Commw. Page 463]

    the question of whether one is entitled to an exemption is a mixed one of law and fact. City of Harrisburg v. Presbyterian Apartments, Inc., 18 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 428, 337 A.2d 297 (1975). The law in question here is Section 204 of the Act of May 22, 1933, P.L. 853, as amended, 72 P.S. ยง 5020-204(a)3 which provides in pertinent part:

"(a) The following property shall be exempt from all county, city, borough, town, township, road, poor and school tax, to wit:

"(3) All hospitals, universities, colleges, seminaries, academies, associations and institutions of learning, benevolence or charity, including fire and rescue stations, with the grounds thereto annexed and necessary for the occupancy and enjoyment of the same, founded, endowed and maintained by public or private charity: Provided, That the entire revenue derived by the same be applied to the support and to increase the efficiency and facilities thereof, the repair and the necessary increase of grounds and buildings thereof, and for no other purpose;"

This statute carries out the power granted in Article VIII, Section 2(a)(v) of the ...


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