Is a Religious Retreat Center Entitled Tax Exemption If It Is Primarily Used As a Place of Worship ?
In Benedictine Sisters v. Fayette County Board of Assessment Appeals, 844 A.2d 86, 89 (Pa. Cmwlth. 2004) this court held that a Christian retreat center, including three bedrooms, is entitled to tax exemption as an actual place of regularly stated religious worship "where the primary purpose of the [retreat center] is worship, and other activities are merely incidental."
This court explained that the word "worship" in section 204(a)(1) of the Assessment Law is not limited to a type of formal ceremony involving a church-type building where congregants gather.
The word "worship" includes prayer, teaching, adoration, meditation, spiritual readings and discussions. Id. (citing Evangel Baptist Church v. Mifflin County Board of Assessment Appeals, 815 A.2d 1174 (Pa. Cmwlth.), appeal denied, 573 Pa. 712, 827 A.2d 1202 (2003), and Mount Zion New Life Center v. Board of Assessment and Revision of Taxes and Appeals, 94 Pa. Commw. 439, 503 A.2d 1065 (Pa. Cmwlth. 1986)).