Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Westmoreland County, in case of In Re: Assessment Appeal of Salem Crossroads Historical Restoration Society, Inc., No. 4578 of 1982.
Ross Bash, for appellant.
John N. Scales, Scales and Murray, for appellee.
Judges MacPhail and Colins, and Senior Judge Blatt, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge MacPhail.
[ 106 Pa. Commw. Page 453]
Salem Crossroads Historical Restoration Society, Inc. (Society) has appealed from an order of the Court of Common Pleas of Westmoreland County which denied the Society's request for tax exempt status for five properties which it either owns or maintains in the Salem Crossroads area.*fn1
The Society is an organization with approximately 350 members whose purpose, as stated in its Articles of Incorporation, is "[t]o plan, direct, promote and control the historical restoration of Salem Cross Roads (Delmont) as it was known in the 1830-1870 period." The Society also emphasizes its educational goal of providing a living history of life in the mid-1800s through various demonstration projects. In furtherance of its goals, the Society has gained ownership or control over the five properties here at issue, which include a
[ 106 Pa. Commw. Page 454147]
-acre farm and farmhouse, a museum/headquarters building and a restored log house.*fn2
The Society's claim for tax exempt status is made under Section 204(a)(7), (9) and (12) of The General County Assessment Law (Law), Act of May 22, 1933, P.L. 853, as amended, 72 P.S. § 5020-204(a)(7), (9) and (12) which provides pertinently as follows:
The following property shall be exempt from all county, city, borough, town, township, road, poor and school tax, to wit:
(7) All other public property used for public purposes, with the ground thereto annexed and necessary for the occupancy and enjoyment of the same, but this shall not be construed to . . . exempt from taxation any privilege, act or transaction conducted upon public property by persons or entities which would be taxable if conducted upon nonpublic property regardless of the purpose or purposes for which such activity occurs, even if conducted as agent for or lessee of any public authority;
(9) All real property owned by one or more institutions of purely public charity, used and occupied partly by such owner or owners and partly by other institutions of purely public
[ 106 Pa. Commw. Page 455]
charity, and necessary for the occupancy and enjoyment of such ...