RULE 19. Filing Requirements
All entities seeking a grant of exempt status from taxation, in accordance with The Consolidated County Assessment Law, Title 53, Chapter 88, Subchapter B, Section 8812 et al, shall submit to the Board, before the appeal hearing will be scheduled, the following documentation as may be applicable:
a) Properly completed assessment appeal form;
b) Proof of non-profit status granted by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania;
c) Appropriate Internal Revenue Service ruling letter granting exempt status;
d) Copies of appropriate income tax returns filed with the IRS, if any, for the immediate three (3) years preceding the date of assessment appeal;
e) Copies of all organizational documents, by-laws, and most recent amendments;
f) A list of the members of the current Board of Directors or other governing body, together with a verified statement that none of the income of the alleged non-profit entity inures to the benefit of any individual shareholder, incorporator, member of the Board of Directors, or other governing body (other than salaried employees), unless the documentation set forth herein contains such a statement in the Articles of Incorporation or amendments thereto; in the latter event, a brief reference to the section should be noted with the submission of such documents;
g) In the event the tax returns submitted (or if there be no such tax returns) fail to disclose the amounts of salaries and wages paid, then the appellant(s) shall submit a verified statement of the current salaries and wages paid to all officers, directors, and the five (5) highest salaried employees of the non-profit corporation, or other governing body;
h) A copy of the deed or document of title, whereby the appellant(s) obtained the property for which exemption is being sought. In the event no such copy is available, a reference to the deed or document along with a verified statement containing the same information as herein set forth shall be submitted;
i) A brief yet specific verified statement as to the current use of the property and, in addition, the appellant(s) may, at its option, include a statement of the prospective use of the property;
j) Any other documentation that may be required or requested by the Board;
k) The above requested information may be set forth in one cumulative verified statement.
l) If the assessment appeal is signed by an officer or employee of the corporation seeking exemption, then a verified statement of authorization of such officer or employee shall accompany the assessment appeal or be submitted prior to the date for the setting of a hearing. In the event this authorization is not submitted, no hearing date will be set until this authorization is received by the Board.
RULE 20. Representation
Where the appellant(s) is represented by legal counsel or by some other authorized representative, the name, address, and telephone number of such representative or counsel shall be provided and, thereafter, all notices shall be sent to such counsel or representative.
RULE 21. Statutory Requirements to be Met
The appellant(s) shall submit a brief statement of the applicable law whereby the appellant(s) feels the property under appeal is entitled to exempt status, with
specific reference to the statutory section(s) and citations, or otherwise pertinent under the laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court in Hospital Utilization Project v. Commonwealth, 507 Pa. 1, 487 A.2d 1306 (1985) provides that for an entity to qualify as a purely public charity it must possess the following characteristics:
- Advances a charitable purpose;
- Donates or renders gratuitously a substantial portion of its services;
- Benefits a substantial and indefinite class of persons who are legitimate subjects of charity;
- Relieves the government of some of its burden; and
- Operates entirely free from private profit motive.
In the event exemption is being sought, claiming to be a “purely public charity”, the Board will use this 5-part test as set forth in the HUP case in making its determination.
In addition, the Board must also apply the statutory standard (Title 53, Chapter 88, Subchapter B, Section 8811 et al) that the organization be founded, endowed, and maintained by public or private charity.
RULE 22. Unavailability of Information
In the event any of the materials required by these rules are not presented to the Board, the appellant(s) should, either prior to or at the time of the hearing, be prepared to submit a statement as to the reason(s) why such documentation is not available or is not submitted to the Board.
RULE 23. Leases or Other User Arrangements
In the event that any portion of the property for which exemption is sought is leased by the appellant(s) or otherwise permitted to be used by any entity other than the appellant(s), the appellant(s) shall submit, at least ten (10) days prior to the date of the hearing, a copy of any such lease(s) or a brief statement concerning the permissive use arrangement. Lease(s) copies or statements shall contain the identity of the lessee or user, the amount of rent or other consideration paid by lessee or user, the terms of lease(s) or permissive use, and all other items pertinent thereto.
RULE 24. Subsequent Appeals
Where an assessment appeal for exemption has been submitted and exemption granted, and appellant(s) thereafter seeks additional exemption on other property, the appellant(s) is not required to resubmit all of the supporting documents, but is required to submit only information pertinent to the subject property for which exemption is being sought. In the event that any portion of the original information, documents and/or exhibits have been amended or information contained therein is stale or outdated, up-to-date information shall be provided with the appeal filing.