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COE ET AL. v. DUFFIELD. (01/21/58)

January 21, 1958

COE ET AL., APPELLANTS,
v.
DUFFIELD.



Appeals, Nos. 122 and 123, April T., 1957, from orders of Court of Common Pleas of Greene County, Nos. 457 and 458 of 1957, in cases of Durward Coe et al. v. C. Paul Duffield et al., and Kenneth L. Headlee et al. v. C. Paul Duffield et al. Orders affirmed.

COUNSEL

J. Wood Williamson, with him John E. Baily, and Thompson and Baily, for appellants. J. R. Scott, with him Scott & Hook, for appellees.

Before Rhodes, P.j., Hirt, Gunther, Wright, Woodside, Ervin, and Watkins, JJ.

Author: Woodside

[ 185 Pa. Super. Page 533]

OPINION BY WOODSIDE, J.

The question presented to us in these appeals is whether the resolution*fn1 of the School District of the Township of Franklin, Greene County, imposing an amusement tax of $25 upon pin ball machines and of 10% upon admissions to drive-in theaters and roller skating rinks, violates article 9, section 1 of the Pennsylvania Constitution. The resolution was passed by the board of school directors pursuant to the authority

[ 185 Pa. Super. Page 534]

    given it by the Act of June 25, 1947, P.L. 1145, as amended, popularly known as the "Tax Anything Act", 53 PS ยง 6851-6858.

The owners of a drive-in theater and the owners of a roller skating rink filed complaints in equity to restrain the school board from collecting the said tax. They contended that the imposition of the tax upon their businesses, and not upon the other forms of amusement for which admissions were charged within the territorial limits of the school district, was a violation of the constitution. The court below dismissed the complaints and the plaintiffs appealed to this Court.

Among the findings of the court below is the following: "there are other amusements within the territorial limits of Franklin Township, Greene County, Pennsylvania, where a charge for admission is made, such as (a) the annual V.F.W. Auto Thrill Show at the Fair Grounds, (b) Riding Academy at the Fair Grounds, (c) the grandstand at Fair, (d) rides, carnival and shows at Fairs, (e) plays and shows at Franklin Township schools and granges, (f) F. Rohanna Golf Course, and (g) the Central Swimming Pool."

Article 9, section 1 of the Constitution of Pennsylvania provides: "All taxes shall be uniform, upon the same class of subjects, within the territorial limits of the authority levying the tax ..."

This constitutional provision applies to resolutions and ordinances as well as to acts of the General Assembly.

The Supreme Court has said: "we can declare an Act of Assembly void, only when it violates the constitution clearly, palpably, plainly; and in such manner as to ...


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