Appeal from the Order of the Board of Finance and Revenue in case of In Re: Petition of Hospital Utilization Project, No. RST-4370.
Joyce McKeever, Kirkpatrick, Lockhart, Johnson & Hutchison, for petitioner.
Paul S. Roeder, Deputy Attorney General, with him LeRoy S. Zimmerman, Attorney General, for respondent.
Judges Rogers, Blatt and Doyle, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Doyle.
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The Hospital Utilization Project appeals here a decision of the Board of Finance and Revenue (Board) which denied its application for tax-exempt status and its petition for refund of sales and use taxes paid in the purchase of supplies and equipment. We affirm.
The Hospital Utilization Project (HUP) was created in 1963 as a joint project funded by the Hospital
[ 75 Pa. Commw. Page 156]
Council of Western Pennsylvania with contributions from the Allegheny County Medical Society Foundation, thirty-three private and corporate foundations, and "in kind" donations of computer services from Blue Cross of Western Pennsylvania. HUP provides statistical analyses of patient treatment and cost data and offers these analyses to hospitals and other health care providers to assist in their efforts to maintain efficiency and ultimately reduce health care costs.
In 1967, the Hospital Council withdrew from the project and HUP was funded through direct payment from hospitals for HUP services. In 1969, HUP was organized as a non-profit corporation under Pennsylvania law.*fn1
In 1965, when HUP was operated as a joint venture by the Hospital Council and the Medical Society Foundation, the Department of Revenue (Department), by letter, granted HUP tax-exempt status. HUP was permitted to use the Council's and Foundation's tax-exemption numbers to avoid payment of sales and use taxes. In 1980, apparently as part of an internal monitoring procedure, the Department directed HUP to apply for its own tax-exemption number. HUP's application was then rejected. HUP thereafter filed for a refund and appealed its denial to the Board. This appeal followed affirmance of the denial by the Board.
HUP claims to qualify for the charitable exemption provided in Section 204(10) of the Tax Reform Code of 1971 (Code),*fn2 ...