Appeal, No. 236, Oct. T., 1956, from decree of Court of Common Pleas No. 7 of Philadelphia County, Sept. T., 1953, No. 3274, in case of Francis L. Plumly, surviving trustee of the estate of George F. Lasher, deceased v. School District of the City of Philadelphia et al. Decree affirmed.
W. Horace Hepburn, Jr., for appellant.
C. Brewster Rhoads, with him Harry C. Schaub, Richard E. McDevitt, and Edward B. Soken, for appellee.
Before Rhodes, P.j., Hirt, Gunther, Wright, Woodside, Ervin, and Carr, JJ.
[ 182 Pa. Super. Page 124]
This is an appeal by Francis L. Plumly, surviving trustee of the estate of George F. Lasher, deceased, from the decree dismissing his complaint in equity*fn1 to restrain and enjoin the School District of the City of Philadelphia and its School Revenue Commissioner from collecting or attempting to collect from the estate of George F. Lasher, deceased, a tax on the gross receipts from rentals under the Act of May 23, 1949, P.L. 1669, as re-enacted and amended by the Act of May 10, 1951, P.L. 265, 24 PS §§ 584.1-584.12.
Defendants filed an answer to the averments of the complaint together with new matter; plaintiff filed a reply. A hearing was had and exceptions to the chancellor's adjudication were dismissed by the court in banc. Plaintiff thereupon appealed to this Court.
No exceptions were taken to the chancellor's findings of fact, and the facts as found are not questioned. Exceptions were to the conclusions of law.
Appellant, Francis L. Plumply, is the surviving trustee of the estate of George S. Lasher, deceased, who died on March 10, 1917. Included in the trust estate were four loft buildings, located in the City of Philadelphia and known as the Gilbert Building, the Fahnestock Building, the Lasher Building, and the Annex to the Lasher Building.*fn2 Under the terms of the will the trustee was authorized "to rent out the realty and collect
[ 182 Pa. Super. Page 125]
the revenues from thence arising, ... and to pay over the entire income arising from the estate by this clause" to certain named beneficiaries. Appellant maintains an office in the Fahnestock Building for the purpose of managing the loft buildings. A full-time superintendent who has a separate office has been employed to make repairs to the buildings and to supervise the other employes.
Prior to the sale of the Lasher Building and the Annex the estate had twenty employes engaged in maintaining and operating the buildings. At present thirteen persons are employed in the operation of the remaining buildings. The employes perform the functions of engineers and elevator operators, and provide maintenance and janitor service. All major repairs on the buildings are the responsibility of the estate. In addition to the usual services supplied to the tenants, appellant operates a generator to convert electric current from alternating to direct for the benefit of some of the tenants in their businesses. There are thirty tenants in the two remaining buildings, eight having been secured by the testator during his lifetime, nine by ...