Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Wayne County in case of Wayne County Board of Assessment v. Federation of Jewish Philanthropies, No. 123 April Term, 1977.
Thomas F. Kilroe, Solicitor, for appellant.
Lee C. Krause, with him Howell, Howell & Krause, for appellee.
President Judge Bowman and Judges Crumlish, Jr., Wilkinson, Jr., Mencer, DiSalle, Craig and MacPhail. Judges Rogers and Blatt did not participate. Opinion by Judge MacPhail.
[ 43 Pa. Commw. Page 509]
The Wayne County Board of Assessment (Board) appeals to this Court from an order of the Court of Common Pleas of Wayne County sustaining the appeal of the Federation of Jewish Philanthropies (Federation) and directing the Board to return property owned by the Federation to tax exempt status. The Board raises three issues for our consideration. We find all to be without merit and, accordingly, we affirm.
Initially, the Board argues that the Block Vacation Center (Block), a summer camp for the elderly located in Wayne County and owned by the Federation, is not a public charity and that the land it occupies should not be tax exempt. The law concerning tax exempt status for charitable institutions is well-settled in Pennsylvania. Article VIII, Section 2 of the Constitution of Pennsylvania provides that:
(a) The General Assembly may by law exempt from taxation:
[ 43 Pa. Commw. Page 510]
(v) Institutions of purely public charity, but in the case of any real property tax exemptions only that portion of real property of such institution which is actually and regularly used for the purposes of the institution.
Pursuant to Article VIII, Section 2, the legislature enacted Section 202 of The Fourth to Eighth Class County Assessment Law, the Act of May 21, 1943, P.L. 571, as amended, 72 P.S. § 5453.202, (Law) which provides in pertinent part:
(a) The following property shall be exempt from all county, borough, town, township, road, poor, county institution district and school (except in cities) 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: Provided further, That the property of associations and institutions of benevolence or ...