Friends Boarding Home of Western Quarterly Meeting v. Com. of PA

IN THE COMMONWEALTH COURT OF PENNSYLVANIA Friends Boarding Home of Western : Quarterly Meeting, : : Petitioner : : v. : No. 332 F.R. 2018 : Submitted: March 9, 2022 Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, : : Respondent : BEFORE: HONORABLE RENÉE COHN JUBELIRER, President Judge HONORABLE PATRICIA A. McCULLOUGH, Judge HONORABLE ANNE E. COVEY, Judge HONORABLE MICHAEL H. WOJCIK, Judge HONORABLE ELLEN CEISLER, Judge HONORABLE LORI A. DUMAS, Judge HONORABLE STACY WALLACE, Judge OPINION NOT REPORTED MEMORANDUM OPINION BY JUDGE WOJCIK FILED: August 3, 2022 Before the Court en banc are the exceptions (Exceptions) filed by Friends Boarding Home of Western Quarterly Meeting (Friends) to a three-judge panel Opinion and Order affirming the order of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania (Commonwealth), Board of Finance and Revenue (F&R) that denied Friends’ Application for Sales Tax Exemption (Application).1 See Friends Boarding Home 1 Friends filed their Exceptions pursuant to Pennsylvania Rule of Appellate Procedure 1571(i), which states: (Footnote continued on next page…) of Western Quarterly Meeting v. Commonwealth, 260 A.3d 1064 (Pa. Cmwlth. 2021) (Friends Boarding Home). Specifically, the panel concluded that Friends did not meet the constitutional test to qualify as an institution of purely public charity under Hospital Utilization Project v. Commonwealth, 487 A.2d 1306 (Pa. 1985) (HUP). Friends Boarding Home, 260 A.3d at 1075. Friends argues that the panel erred by: making factual conclusions unsupported by or contradictory to the parties’ stipulations of facts;2 neglecting to consider that Friends incurs operating deficits; and improperly equating Friends with senior care facilities charging exorbitant entry fees. Friends maintains that the evidence supports a determination that it has met all constitutional and statutory standards to qualify as an institution of purely public charity. Upon review, we overrule the Exceptions and reaffirm Friends Boarding Home. I. Background A full recitation of the underlying facts, as stipulated to by the parties, may be found in Friends Boarding Home. For our present analysis, we briefly summarize that, in March 2017, Friends filed an Application with the Department Any party may file exceptions to an initial determination by the court under this rule within 30 days after the entry of the order to which exception is taken. Such timely exceptions shall have the effect, for the purposes of Rule 1701(b)(3) (authority of lower court or agency after appeal) of an order expressly granting reconsideration of the determination previously entered by the court. Issues not raised on exceptions are waived and cannot be raised on appeal. Pa. R.A.P. 1571(i). 2 The parties filed a Stipulation of Facts and a Supplemental Stipulation of Facts. The Supplemental Stipulation of Facts contained two stipulations pertaining to 2019. 2 of Revenue (Department) seeking an exemption from the Commonwealth’s sales and use tax as an institution of purely public charity. According to the parties’ stipulations, Friends is a nonprofit corporation doing business as Friends Home, a senior living community located in Kennett Square, Chester County. Stipulation of Facts (S.F.), 11/17/20, Nos. 1-3, 5. Friends provided rate schedules for years 2012 through 2019. Friends subsidizes …

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