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SHARON HERALD CO. v. GRANGER

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT WESTERN DISTRICT OF PENNSYLVANIA


April 30, 1951

SHARON HERALD CO.
v.
GRANGER, Collector of Internal Revenue

The opinion of the court was delivered by: GOURLEY

This is a suit for the refund of $ 2,878.27, plus accrued interest paid as income and excess profits taxes for the fiscal years ended March 31, 1941, 1942 and 1943.

The assessment resulted from the disallowance by the Collector of Internal Revenue of the Pennsylvania Corporate Loans Tax paid by the taxpayer in the years 1941, 1942 and 1943 on bonds issued by the taxpayer.

 The Corporate Loans Tax here involved was imposed by the Act of Assembly in Pennsylvania against the bond holders in the first instance, Act of June 22, 1935, P.L. 414, Sec. 17, its supplements and amendments, 72 Purdon's Statutes Pa. ยง 3250-10.

  In order that a clear picture will exist as to the factual and legal questions which exist, a detailed historical statement is required.

 Prior to 1935 there were two daily newspapers published in the City of Sharon, one known as 'The Sharon Herald Publishing Company' (Herald), and the other known as 'The News Telegraph Company' (Telegraph). In 1935, Herald was owned by four stockholders. For twelve years McDowell, one of the stockholders, had been the president of that company. In 1935, Telegraph was owned by three stockholders. Lartz was the general manager of Telegraph, and had been with that company for approximately ten (10) years. Prior to that time he had been with Herald. It is thus apparent that Lartz, having had a connection with both newspapers, could easily visualize the advantage of there being a single newspaper, rather than two competing papers, in the City of Sharon and vicinity. Lartz obtained a power of attorney from his associates and McDowell obtained a power of attorney from his associates, authorizing these two men to work out a program for consolidating the two papers. Some of the seven owners were getting along in years and desired financial security. Lartz and McDowell were now interested in possible future profits. Accordingly, the financial structure and its division among the seven owners was fixed as follows: 7% Debenture 7% Preferred Name Bonds Stock Common Stock Dickinson $ 65,000.00 250 Shares 150 Shares Aiken 200 Shares 450 Shares Lartz 700 Shares Buchholz 32,500.00 325 Shares Ramsey 15,000.00 150 Shares 350 Shares Pharmer 5,000.00 50 Shares 100 Shares McDowell 750 Shares Total Original Issue $ 117,500.00 975 Shares 2500 Shares

19510430

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