Appeal, No. 208, Jan. T., 1960, from judgment of Court of Common Pleas No. 1 of Philadelphia County, Sept. T., 1958, No. 2075, in case of Business Tax Office of School District of Philadelphia v. Parent Metal Products, Inc. Judgment reversed; reargument refused February 10, 1961.
C. Brewster Rhoads, with him Edward B. Soken, Mercer D. Tate, and Montgomery, McCracken, Walker & Rhoads, for appellant.
Lloyd A. Good, Jr., with him Roper & Caldwell, for appellee.
Before Jones, C.j., Bell, Musmanno, Jones, Cohen, Bok and Eagen, JJ.
OPINION BY MR. JUSTICE EAGEN.
Under the General Business Tax Act of May 23, 1949, P.L. 1669, 24 PS § 584.1 et seq., the School District of the City of Philadelphia assessed taxes against Parent Metal Products, Inc., appellee, for the tax years 1954 through 1958, inclusive, upon the gross
receipts of the company realized from the sale and delivery of certain products to customers beyond the territory of the school district. Under said statute, receipts of goods so sold which are "of the taxpayer's own manufacture" are exempt from the levy and payment of the tax. (24 PS § 584.1(5)(d)).
Parent Metal Products, Inc., appealed to the common pleas court of Philadelphia claiming that it was a "manufacturer" of the goods in question and, therefore, exempt from such taxation. Said court sustained this position and entered judgment in its favor. The School District appeals from that decision.
Is the appellee a "manufacturer" of the goods in question or is it a mere assembler? That is the narrow issue presented for our decision. Since the issue is before this Court on "broad certiorari", it is our responsibility to determine whether or not the findings of fact made by the lower court are sustained by competent evidence and, if so, did the court arrive at a legally correct conclusion: Bell Appeal, 396 Pa. 592, 152 A.2d 731 (1959).
The facts sustained by the record are these. The appellee designs, assembles and sells vocational shop equipment: work benches, tool racks, lockers, cabinets and desks. Appellee designs the equipment, makes samples thereof, breaks down the samples into component parts and prepares working drawings thereof. The parts are then ordered from independent contractors in bulk. It assembles the final product from the standard parts purchased from and supplied by others who do the entire manufacturing thereof. Parent Metal does not make a single part that goes into the products sold. However, it does cut, shear, drill, rivet, fasten and bolt the component ...