Can a Purely Public Charity Which Recieves Funds Proportionate to the Services It Renders Claim Tax Exemption ?
In Trustees of Academy of Protestant Episcopal Church v. Taylor (Episcopal Church), 150 Pa. 565, 25 A. 55, 30 Week. Notes Cas. 528 (1892), our Supreme Court held that the Episcopal Academy was a purely public charity because it was not run like a business, and any monies obtained were put back into the school for the purpose of allowing less fortunate students who could not afford to attend to become students.
In YMCA of Germantown v. Philadelphia, 323 Pa. 401, 187 A. 204 (1936), the Supreme Court held that the Germantown YMCA was not a purely public charity because there was no proof that the rooms rented in the dormitory portion of the YMCA were not offered free of charge or that they were furnished at less than actual cost or that the expenses in maintaining them exceeded the gross receipts.
The Court expanded its concept of a purely public charity from its decision in Episcopal Church and stated that "the portion of its property, in respect to which exemption is claimed, must possess an eleemosynary characteristic not possessed by institutions or property devoted to private gain or profit.
What is 'given' must be more nearly gratuitous than for a price which impresses one as being proportionate to the service rendered." Id. at 409, 187 A. at 208.