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TAX REVIEW BOARD v. HYDROCARBON RESEARCH (03/13/62)

March 13, 1962

TAX REVIEW BOARD
v.
HYDROCARBON RESEARCH, INC., APPELLANT.



Appeal, No. 145, Jan. T., 1962, from order of Court of Common Pleas No. 1 of Philadelphia County, Dec. T., 1960, No. 1116, in case of Tax Review Board v. Hydrocarbon Research, Inc. Order affirmed.

COUNSEL

Joseph W. Marshall, Jr., with him Duane, Morris & Heckscher, for appellant.

Leonard B. Rosenthal, Assistant City Solicitor, with him James L. Stern, Deputy City Solicitor, and David Berger, City Solicitor, for Tax Review Board, appellee.

Before Bell, C.j., Musmanno, Jones, Cohen, Eagen and O'brien, JJ.

[ 406 Pa. Page 397]

OPINION PER CURIAM

This is an appeal from an order of the Court of Common Pleas No. 1 of Philadelphia County which dismissed the appeal of Hydrocarbon Research, Inc. (Hydrocarbon) from a decision of the Philadelphia Tax Review Board (Board), which sustained deficiency tax assessments levied against Hydrocarbon for the years 1953, 1954, 1956 and 1957 under the Philadelphia mercantile license tax ordinance.

Hydrocarbon, a New Jersey Corporation with its principal office in the City of New York, specializes in the design and engineering of technical process structures for the oil and chemical industries and has developed a scientific process for the production of anhydrous ammonia. In 1953-1954 Hydrocarbon constructed an ammonia plant for the Atlantic Refining Company at its Point Breeze refinery in Philadelphia. In 1956-1957 Hydrocarbon expanded Atlantic's anhydrous ammonia facilities.

Hydrocarbon filed returns under the Philadelphia mercantile license tax ordinance for the years 1953, 1954, 1956 and 1957 which disclosed the amount of payments received from Atlantic for its work. On July 13, 1959, the Department of Collections of the City of Philadelphia levied deficiency tax assessments against Hydrocarbon for these years. After filing a petition for review with the board and after that board had sustained the deficiency tax assessments, as corrected, Hydrocarbon appealed to the Court of Common Pleas No. 1 of Philadelphia County which, in turn, sustained the board.

The sole question raised on this appeal is whether the Philadelphia mercantile license tax violates the

[ 406 Pa. Page 398]

    uniformity requirements of the Pennsylvania Constitution in its application to a taxpayer, such as Hydrocarbon, who does not engage in business in Philadelphia on a continuing basis.

We have carefully examined the record herein and the provisions of the ordinance, the constitutionality of which is attacked. We are satisfied that such provisions are valid and that the instant case is ruled by Goldstein v. Pittsburgh School District, 372 Pa. 188, 93 A.2d 243.

We accordingly affirm the order of the court below on the following excerpts from the opinion of President ...


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