Court Ruled That a Nursing Home Operated by the Baptist Health Care Corporation Was Exempt from Real Estate Taxes

In a property tax case, the Oklahoma Supreme Court ruled that a nursing home operated

In a property tax case, the Oklahoma Supreme Court ruled that a nursing home operated by the Baptist Health Care Corporation was exempt from county real estate taxes. The facility was built and is operated as a statewide ministry to the elderly. Revenues from residents do not cover expenses incurred in operating the facility, and contributions from Baptist churches are used to cover the deficit.

The court applied a 7-part test in determining whether a retirement facility qualifies for property tax exemption as a charitable institution: (1) whether rent receipts are applied to upkeep, maintenance and equipment of the institution or are otherwise applied; (2) whether residents receive the same treatment regardless of their ability to pay; (3) whether the facilities are open to all, regardless of their ability to pay; (3) whether the facilities are open to all, regardless of race, creed, color, religion or ability to pay; (4) whether charges are made to all patients and, if made, are lesser charges made to the poor or are any charges made to the indigent; (5) whether there is a charitable trust fund created by benevolent and charitably minded persons for the needy or are donations made for the use of such persons; (6) whether the institution operated without a profit or private advantage to its founders and officials in charge; (7) whether the articles or bylaws of the corporation make provision for the disposition of surplus assets upon dissolution.

The court concluded that the facility in question met all seven criteria, and accordingly was exempt. Baptist Health Care Corporation v. Okmulgee County Board of Equalization, 750 P.2d 127 (Okla. 1988)

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