24 Pa. 229 (Pa. 1855), Christ Church Hospital v. Philadelphia County

Citation:24 Pa. 229
Opinion Judge:LEWIS, C. J.
Party Name:Hospital v. Philadelphia County.
Attorney:Watts, for plaintiff in error Badger, for the county Meredith, in reply.
Court:Supreme Court of Pennsylvania

Page 229

24 Pa. 229 (Pa. 1855)



Philadelphia County.

Supreme Court of Pennsylvania.


1. Where an assessment is made upon property not liable to taxation it is not a case merely of overrating, where the remedy is by appeal; but if paid under protest after levy under the collector's warrant on goods of the party taxed, it may be recovered back.

2. It was enacted, by Act of 6th April, 1833, that the real property, including ground-rents, belonging to Christ Church Hospital, " shall be and remain free from taxes." Held that there being nothing in the exempting statute savoring of contract, it was liable to repeal.

3. The repealing Act not applying to property " in the actual use and occupation of such association," the tax assessed upon such property, and paid under protest, could be recovered back by suit against the county.

IN this case the rector, churchwardens, & c., in trust for Christ Church Hospital, were plaintiffs, and the county of Philadelphia was defendant, and a case was agreed upon to the following purport:--

In an Act of 6th April, 1833, it was declared that it appears that Christ Church Hospital has, for many years, afforded an asylum to numerous poor and distressed widows, & c., and it was enacted that the real property, including ground-rents, belonging and payable to the said hospital, " shall be and remain free from taxes."

By a subsequent Act, passed on 14th April, 1851, it was provided that all property, real and personal, belonging to any association or incorporated company, which is now by law exempt from taxation, other than that which is in the actual use and occupation of such association or incorporated company, and from which an income or revenue is derived by the owners thereof, shall hereafter be subject to taxation," & c.

Afterwards, certain real estate and ground-rents of the hospital, which belonged to it before the passage of the Act of 1833, was assessed; and on the 28th March, 1852, under warrant of distress, goods on the premises were levied on for the taxes aforesaid; whereupon the plaintiffs protested against the proceeding as illegal, but to prevent injury paid the taxes claimed.

Amongst the property taxed was the hospital buildings, in actual occupation of the corporation for hospital purposes.

It was submitted to the Court whether the plaintiffs were entitled to recover the amount...

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