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Law360 reported that the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled that property owned by the Trustee under the Will of Stephen Girard, deceased, and leased by the Board of Directors of City Trusts, was not subject to the local real estate taxes in Philadelphia because the trust qualifies as a state agency.

Girard, a wealthy Philadelphia banker and philanthropist, directed in his Will that the vast majority of his fortune be given to the City of Philadelphia to be used to support numerous charitable and public purposes, including the creation and operation of a school, Girard College, for the education of orphans of limited means. Since its founding in 1848, Girard College has provided full scholarships to every one of its students.

The Law360 article titled, “PA High Court Preserves Tax Immunity for Historic Trust,” detailed that in a 53-page opinion, the court held that the Board of City Trusts was a Commonwealth agency.

“It is enough, we believe, to recognize the quintessentially public nature of the bequests and intimate, immediate and ongoing commonwealth governmental relationship with the Girard Entities, including the Board of City Trusts,” said Chief Justice Ronald Castille in the opinion, reported Law360.

Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney’s Jack M. Stover and Charlie B. Gibbons were noted by the publication for representing the Board of City Trusts in the case.

Read the full article here (subscription required).