Mesivtah Eitz Chaim of Bobov, Inc. v. Pike Co. Bd. of Assessment Appeals (majority)Annotate this Case
Appellant Mesivtah Eitz Chaim of Bobov, Inc., a not-for-profit religious entity related to the Bobov Orthodox Jewish community in Brooklyn, appealed a Commonwealth Court ruling, asking that the Supreme Court find it is an "institution of a purely public charity" under Article VIII, sec. 2(a)(v) of the Pennsylvania Constitution, and entitled to exemption from real estate taxes. Appellant operated a summer camp in Pike County, Pennsylvania. Pike County denied Appellant's exemption request, finding that occasional use of Appellant's recreational and dining facilities by Pike County residents was insufficient to prove Appellant was a purely public charity. The Court allowed this appeal to determine if it must defer to the General Assembly's statutory definition of that term. Upon review, the Supreme Court affirmed, holding its prior jurisprudence set the constitutional minimum for exemption from taxes; the legislation may codify what was intended to be exempted, but it cannot lessen the constitutional minimums by broadening the definition of "purely public charity" in the statute.