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ALLENTOWN SCHOOL DISTRICT MERCANTILE TAX CASE (03/24/52)

March 24, 1952

ALLENTOWN SCHOOL DISTRICT MERCANTILE TAX CASE


Appeal, No. 35, Jan. T., 1952, from order of Court of Quarter Sessions of Lehigh County, Miscellaneous Docket C, page 124, in re Appeal from Mercantile Tax Levy by the School District of the City of Allentown. Order reversed.

COUNSEL

Henry L. Snyder, with him Samuel D. Frederick, M. Jack Morgan and Snyder, Wert & Wilcox, for appellants.

George H. Sacks, for appellees.

Before Drew, C.j., Stern, Stearne, Bell, Chidsey and Musmanno, JJ.

Author: Bell

[ 370 Pa. Page 163]

OPINION BY MR. JUSTICE BELL

Is the Resolution of the School District of the City of Allentown levying a mercantile tax on wholesale and retail dealers in goods, wares and merchandise under the authority of the Act of June 25, 1947*fn* popularly known as the "Tax Anything Act" valid? Section 1 of this act authorizes political subdivisions, including school districts of the second class, to tax anything not specifically excepted by said act with the following pertinent proviso: "E. No taxes shall be levied by any political subdivision on the following subjects exceeding the rates specified in this subsection: ... (b) On each dollar of the whole volume of business transacted by wholesale dealers in goods, wares and merchandise, 1 mill; by retail dealers in goods, wares and merchandise and by proprietors of restaurants or other places where food, drink and refreshments are served, 1 1/2 mills; except in cities of the second class, where rates shall not exceed 1 mill on wholesale dealers and 2 mills on retail dealers and proprietors. No such tax shall be levied on the dollar volume of business transacted

[ 370 Pa. Page 164]

    by wholesale and retail dealers derived from the resale of goods, wares and merchandise taken by any dealer as a trade-in or as part payment for other goods, wares and merchandise, except to the extent that the resale price exceeds the trade-in allowance."

The important provisions of the School District's Resolution which was adopted March 29, 1951, are as follows:

"Section 2. Levy and Collection of Tax: For the fiscal year of One Thousand Nine Hundred Fifty-one and annually thereafter,*fn** the School District hereby imposes an annual mercantile tax in the manner and at the rates herein set forth.

"Section 3. Imposition and Rate of Tax: Every person engaged in any of the following businesses in the City of Allentown, shall pay an annual Mercantile Tax beginning with the fiscal year, One Thousand Nine Hundred Fifty-one and every fiscal year thereafter, according to the following schedule:

"(a) Wholesale vendors or dealers in goods, wares and merchandise, at the rate of One (1) mill on each dollar of the volume of the gross business, transacted by him, or at the rate of $1.00 per $1,000.00 of gross volume of business, or fraction thereof.

"(b) Retail vendors or dealers in goods, wares and merchandise, or persons engaging in conducting restaurants or other places where food, drink or refreshments are sold, at the rate of One and one-half (1 1/2) mills on each dollar of the volume of the annual gross business transacted by him, or at the ...


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