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SCRANTON POCONO GIRL SCOUT COUNCIL v. COUNTY COMMISSIONERS SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY (02/02/83)

decided: February 2, 1983.

SCRANTON POCONO GIRL SCOUT COUNCIL, APPELLANT
v.
COUNTY COMMISSIONERS OF SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY, APPELLEES



Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Susquehanna County in case of Scranton Pocono Girl Scout Council v. Susquehanna County Commissioners, No. 1980-1556.

COUNSEL

John R. O'Brien, Oliver, Price and Rhodes, for appellant.

Robert G. Dean, for appellees.

Judges Blatt, Williams, Jr. and Doyle, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Blatt.

Author: Blatt

[ 71 Pa. Commw. Page 529]

The Scranton Pocono Girl Scout Council (appellant) appeals here an order of the Court of Common Pleas of Susquehanna County dismissing its tax exemption appeal.

The appellant owns two parcels of land in Susquehanna County which as a whole comprise Camp Archibald. Parcel A occupies the main area of the camp and is comprised of 218 acres, of which only 70 acres were exempted by the tax authorities. Parcel B is another separate 70 acre parcel used for hiking and overnight camping trips. This parcel was not exempted. The appellant challenged its assessment before the County Commissioners, and after failing there, appealed to the common pleas court. That appeal was dismissed and the instant appeal to this Court followed.

The right to a tax exemption in this Commonwealth is governed first by our Constitution and then by our general laws. Pa. Const. art. VIII, § 2, provides in pertinent part that:

(a) The General Assembly may by law exempt from taxation:

(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 the Constitution, the General Assembly enacted Section 202 of The Fourth to Eighth Class County Assessment Law (Law), Act of May 21, 1943 P.L. 571, as amended, 72 P.S. § 5453.202, which provides in pertinent part that:

(a) The following property shall be exempt from all county, borough, ...


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