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L. J. W. REALTY CORP. v. PHILADELPHIA. (09/30/57)

September 30, 1957

L. J. W. REALTY CORP., APPELLANT,
v.
PHILADELPHIA.



Appeals, Nos. 218, 225, 222, Jan. T., 1957, from orders of Court of Common Pleas No. 7 of Philadelphia County, June T., 1956, No. 6485; Court of Common Pleas No. 4, June T., 1956, No. 7828, transferred to Court of Common Pleas No. 7; Court of Common Pleas No. 2, June T., 1956, No. 7787, transferred to Court of Common Pleas No. 7, in cases of L.J.W. Realty Corp. v. City of Philadelphia; Tax Review Board v. Lit Brothers, Inc.; and Tax Review Board v. American Stores Company. Judgments affirmed.

COUNSEL

Norman S. Berson, with him Samuel D. Goodis, and Folz, Bard, Kamsler, Goodis & Greenfield, for appellant.

Dunstan McNichol, with him Gilfillan, Gilpin & Brehman, for appellant.

Charles M. Solomon, with him J. Victor O'Brien and Fox, Rothschild, O'Brien & Frankel, for appellant.

David Berger, City Solicitor, with him Leonard B. Rosenthal and Jacob J. Siegal, Assistant City Solicitors, for appellee.

Edward Friedman, Deputy Attorney General, and Thomas D. McBride, Attorney General, filed a brief for the Commonwealth as amicus curiae.

Before Jones, C.j., Bell, Chidsey, Musmanno, Arnold, Jones and Cohen, JJ.

Author: Cohen

[ 390 Pa. Page 199]

OPINION BY MR. JUSTICE COHEN

The Act of August 5, 1932, P.L. 45, § 1, 53 P.S. § 4613 (Supp.) (Sterling Act) gives to the City of Philadelphia extensive authority to tax transactions, privileges, subjects and personal property within the limits of the City. In 1937 the City Council of Philadelphia, pursuant to this Act, passed an ordinance "imposing a stamp tax upon certain transactions relating to documents and obligations. ..." (Emphasis throughout supplied). The ordinance provided that "Every person who makes, executes, issues, or delivers any document ... shall be subject to pay for, and in respect to such document, or for and in respect of the vellum, parchment or paper upon which such document

[ 390 Pa. Page 200]

    is written or printed, a tax at the rate of five (5) cents for each one hundred (100) dollars, or fraction thereof, of the value represented by such document."

In City Stores Co. v. Philadelphia, 376 Pa. 482, 103 A.2d 664 (1954) we said that this ordinance imposed a tax on a "transaction" pertaining to real estate. Since "the only transaction 'referred to... is the making, execution, issuing and delivering of the instrument of title, ... it was therefore upon those operations that the tax was imposed. ..." 376 Pa. at 488. But because in that case deeds were executed and delivered outside the city limits, it was held that ...


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