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STANDARD BRANDS v. PITTSBURGH. STANDARD BRANDS (05/02/61)

May 2, 1961

STANDARD BRANDS, INC., APPELLANT,
v.
PITTSBURGH. STANDARD BRANDS, INC., APPELLANT, V. PITTSBURGH SCHOOL DISTRICT.



Appeals, Nos. 68 and 69, March T., 1961, from orders of County Court of Allegheny County, Nos. A-1631 and A-1632 of 1957, in cases of Standard Brands, Incorporated v. School District of Pittsburgh et al., and Same v. City of Pittsburgh et al. Orders affirmed; reargument refused June 5, 1961.

COUNSEL

Judd N. Poffinberger, Jr., with him Maurice B. Cohill, Jr., and Kirkpatrick, Pomeroy, Lockhart & Johnson, for appellant.

Regis C. Nairn, Assistant City Solicitor, with him David Stahl, City Solicitor, for City of Pittsburgh, appellee.

Edmund W. Ridall, Jr., Assistant School Solicitor, and Niles Anderson, School Solicitor, for School District of Pittsburgh, appellee.

Before Jones, C.j., Bell, Musmanno, Jones, Cohen, Bok and Eagen, JJ.

Author: Bok

[ 403 Pa. Page 591]

OPINION BY MR. JUSTICE BOK.

There are two appeals by Standard Brands, Inc., a taxpayer, against the imposition of the mercantile license tax (1) by the City of Pittsburgh under the Act of June 25, 1947, P.L. 1145, as amended, 53 PS § 6851 et seq, and (2) by the School District of Pittsburgh under the Act of June 20, 1947, P.L. 745, as amended, 24 PS § 582.1 et seq. The case involves sales under certain

[ 403 Pa. Page 592]

    conditions by the Grocery and Fleischmann (baking) Divisions of the taxpayer during the years 1952 through 1956. The company deals in all sorts of packaged foods. The company paid much of the tax without dispute but $19,205.32 of it was paid under protest, this amount representing the tax on certain contested sales. The amount claimed by the two taxing bodies as additional tax is $21,467.12. Having been assessed for this deficiency the company filed appeals in the County Court of Allegheny County, which dismissed them. The taxpayer then appealed to us.

Appellant is a Delaware corporation with head office in New York, is authorized to trade in Pennsylvania, and does a national business.

The Fleischmann, or baking, area of the case can be disposed of briefly. The company has a "Pittsburgh Sales Territory", which is part of its Cincinnati District, and keeps a Pittsburgh office with a manager, three sales representatives, six driver-salesmen, and others. It also has a warehouse in Pittsburgh, and trucks, whose drivers go about and make sales direct from them, although some orders come to the office by mail or telephone. Sales are made on the spot and billed from Cincinnati. The company admits that sales so made to customers in Pittsburgh are taxable but resists the tax on those where the customer lives beyond the city limits.

What we are dealing with is a "vendor or dealer in goods, wares, and merchandise." Albright & Friel, Inc. v. Philadelphia School District, 187 Pa. Superior Ct. 387 (1958), 144 A.2d 745, allocatur refused, is square authority for the tax. The Superior Court remarked: "All of the services performed outside of Philadelphia are directed from the Philadelphia office." So here, in Pittsburgh. Both the impetus and the closing of ...


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