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April 2014 Archives

Commonwealth Court Upholds Real Estate Tax Exemption for LDM CCRC Client

By Opinion dated January 29, 2014, the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court upheld the October 15, 2012 decision of the Union County Court of Common Pleas, through which our Firm successfully obtained real estate tax exemption for Albright Care Services' CCRC located in Union County. On appeal, the Commonwealth Court concluded that Albright (a) first satisfied the constitutional HUP Test requirements, and then met the statutory Act 55 demands for tax exemption; (b) donated a substantial portion of its services through its CCRC, nursing and personal care facilities, Meals on Wheels Program, and LIFE operations; (c) benefitted a substantial and indefinite class of persons by serving the needs of the elderly; and (d) was properly viewed as a single corporate entity for purposes of determining tax exemption. Further, the Commonwealth Court made it clear that once an organization satisfies the requirements for exemption, the HUP and Act 55 Tests are not to be separately applied to the individual parcels at issue; rather, at that point, the only question is whether those parcels are actually and regularly used in support of the organization's charitable mission. A copy of the Commonwealth Court's opinion can be found here.pdf. Kimber Latsha tried the case for our Firm.

Judge rules against SRC in charter case

A Common Pleas Court judge ruled Monday that the law that led to the state takeover of city schools in 2001 did not give the SRC the power to cap their enrollment to ease the district's financial woes.

Refunds of Resident Trust Accounts

On June 26, 2013, the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania amended the Probate, Estates, and Fiduciaries Code to allow nursing facilities to disperse up to $10,000 from a resident trust account after the resident's death in certain circumstances. If the deceased resident was a recipient of Medical Assistance benefits, the facility may disperse up to $10,000 from the resident trust account to a licensed funeral director to contribute to burial expenses, regardless of whether a personal representative has been appointed. If the decedent's burial expenses total less than $10,000, then the facility may pay the remaining funds to the decedent's family members, not to exceed $10,000. Preference is given to family members in the following order: spouse, child, parent, then sibling. Previously, facilities could only disperse up to $3,500 from a patient's care account to a licensed funeral director and could not exceed a total of $4,000 after paying the remainder to family members. If a facility makes such a payment, it will be released to the same extent as if the payment had been made to the decedent's personal representative.

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