Appeals, Nos. 15 to 20, inclusive, May T., 1953 from judgments of Court of Common Pleas of Dauphin County, 1947, Commonwealth Docket, Nos. 136 to 141, inclusive, in case of Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. Western Maryland Railway Company. Judgments affirmed.
William C. Purnell, with him Rene J. Gunning and W. Hamlin Neely, for appellant.
George W. Keitel, Deputy Attorney General, with him Frank F. Truscott, Attorney General, for appellee.
Before Stern, C.j., Stearne, Jones, Bell, Chidsey, Musmanno and Arnold, JJ.
OPINION BY MR. CHIEF JUSTICE HORACE STERN
These are six appeals, consolidated into one record, from judgments of the Court of Common Pleas of Dauphin County sustaining resettlements of corporate loans taxes against the appellant corporation for the years 1940 to 1945, both inclusive.
The appeals are based partly on what amounts to an attempt to obtain a review of our decisions in Fidelity-Philadelphia Trust Company Tax Case, 354 Pa. 355, 47 A.2d 267, and Commonwealth v. New York, Chicago and St. Louis R.R. Co., 354 Pa. 388, 47 A.2d 272, and partly on a contention that the Commonwealth, by reason of certain facts, is estopped from collecting the taxes for which these judgments were rendered.
On October 1, 1902, Western Maryland Rail Road Company, a corporation of the State of Maryland, whose principal line of railroad then extended from Baltimore to Hagerstown, Maryland, created a first mortgage to secure an authorized issue of 4% bonds of which some $46,000,000 were ultimately issued. In 1909 the railroad was sold at foreclosure sale to a new company known as The Western Maryland Railway Company, also incorporated under the laws of the State of Maryland. A part of the railroad system was owned by various companies which had been formed to construct extensions, several of which were Pennsylvania corporations, and in 1917 The Western Maryland Railway Company and seven wholly-owned subsidiary corporations consolidated under the laws of Maryland and under the Pennsylvania Act of March 24, 1865, P.L. 49, the consolidated corporation taking the name of Western Maryland Railway Company, which is the appellant in the present proceedings. Thereafter The Western Maryland Railway Company
ceased to have a separate existence. Western Maryland Railway Company assumed the obligations both as to principal and interest of the first mortgage 4% bonds, and thereby became liable for the corporate loans tax thereon by virtue of the Act of July 15, 1919, P.L. 955, which imposed the tax on bonds assumed, instead of merely, as theretofore on bonds issued, by the corporation. $11,623,318 of the bonds formed the basis of the resettlements of the Railway Company's corporate loans taxes by the Department of Revenue which were approved by the Board of Finance and Revenue. By those resettlements appellant's liability for the taxes for the six years above stated was fixed in an aggregate amount of $462,680.48.*fn1 Appeals were taken by the Railway Company to the court below which upheld the action of the Board and entered judgments accordingly; however, the court did not allow interest on balances of taxes due prior to the settlement on October 31, 1946, but only from that date. The Railway Company now appeals from the judgments thus entered.
In Fidelity-Philadelphia Trust Company Tax Case, 354 Pa. 355, 47 A.2d 267, we held that bonds owned or possessed by a resident of Pennsylvania and issued by a foreign railroad corporation which thereafter ...