Appeal from the Order of the Board of Finance and Revenue in case of The Hahnemann Medical College and Hospital of Philadelphia v. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, No. M-3119.
Abraham C. Reich, of counsel, Fox, Rothschild, O'Brien & Frankel, for petitioner.
Vincent J. Dopko, Deputy Attorney General, for respondent.
President Judge Crumlish and Judges Mencer, Rogers, Blatt, Craig, MacPhail and Williams, Jr. Judge Wilkinson, Jr. did not participate. Opinion by Judge Rogers. Judge Mencer dissents.
[ 52 Pa. Commw. Page 559]
The Hahnemann Medical College and Hospital of Philadelphia (Hahnemann) has appealed from an order of the Board of Finance and Revenue (Board) denying Hahnemann's petition for refund of a realty transfer tax paid by Hahnemann under protest pursuant to The Realty Transfer Tax Act, Act of December 27, 1951, P.L. 1742, § 1 et seq., as amended, 72 P.S. § 3283 et seq.
Our review of this matter is de novo. Section 1104(d) of The Fiscal Code, Act of April 9, 1929, P.L.
[ 52 Pa. Commw. Page 560343]
, as amended, 72 P.S. § 1104(d). The pertinent facts which have been stipulated and which we hereby adopt, are as follows:
1. The Hahnemann Medical College and Hospital of Philadelphia ("Hahnemann") is a Pennsylvania non-profit corporation providing health care and medical teaching facilities and is exempt from the imposition of real estate taxes pursuant to 72 P.S. § 5020-204(a)(3).
2. The Pennsylvania Higher Education Facilities Authority ("PHEFA") is a public corporation and a government instrumentality of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, created pursuant to The Pennsylvania Higher Education Facilities Authority Act of 1967, P.L. 687, § 1, et seq., 24 P.S. § 5501 et seq., to assist institutions of higher learning by providing educational facilities 'for the benefit of the people of the Commonwealth' and 'for the increase of their wealth and prosperity'.
3. In 1975 Hahnemann and PHEFA entered into an agreement for the purpose of financing the construction of improvements to Hahnemann's educational facilities.
4. To accomplish this financing, PHEFA floated its Eighth Series College Revenue Bonds to the public and provided $6,705,000 for Hahnemann's project from the proceeds of these bonds. PHEFA issued these bonds in accordance with and subject to the provisions of a Trust Indenture dated as of January 1, 1969 between PHEFA and the Mellon National Bank and Trust Company (now known as Mellon Bank, N.A.) as trustee, which trust indenture was supplemented by the Eighth Supplemental Indenture between PHEFA and Mellon Bank, dated as of October 1, 1975. True copies of the
[ 52 Pa. Commw. Page 561]
Trust Indenture, dated as of January 1, 1969, and the Eighth Supplemental Indenture, dated as of October 1, 1975, are attached hereto [and] incorporated herein by reference ...