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COMMONWEALTH v. BERLO VENDING COMPANY (07/01/64)

July 1, 1964

COMMONWEALTH
v.
BERLO VENDING COMPANY, APPELLANT.



Appeal, No. 22, May T., 1964, from judgment of Court of Common Pleas of Dauphin County, No. 257 Commonwealth Docket, 1962, in case of Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. Berlo Vending Company. Judgment affirmed.

COUNSEL

Harry J. Rubin, with him Ralph S. Snyder, and Schnader, Harrison, Segal & Lewis, and Krekstein and Rubin, for appellant.

Edward T. Baker, Deputy Attorney General, with him Walter E. Alessandroni, Attorney General, for Commonwealth, appellee.

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

Author: Roberts

[ 415 Pa. Page 102]

OPINION BY MR. JUSTICE ROBERTS

Berlo Vending Company appeals from the judgment of the Court of Common Pleas of Dauphin County disallowing both the manufacturing*fn1 and the processing*fn2 exemptions to which Berlo claims to be entitled

[ 415 Pa. Page 103]

    in the computation of its corporate franchise tax for 1958.

Berlo produces popcorn, the great bulk of which is sold by Berlo in motion picture theaters, drive-in theaters and similar places of entertainment. The company obtains leases from the theaters, constructs showcases, hires sales personnel, and stocks these "concessions" with the popcorn it produces.

The ingredients for popcorn are coconut oil, salt and popping corn. The oil is preheated to 80 degrees fahrenheit, and eight ounces is poured into a popcorn kettle. Berlo's plants have banks of popping kettles, each of which is about 16 inches in diameter and 16 inches high. Between 28 and 30 ounces of corn and 2 ounces of salt are placed into a kettle with the oil. When the corn-oil-salt mixture reaches about 450 degrees, the moisture in the corn turns to steam and "explodes" the corn, thus increasing the volume of each kernel from 30 to 36 times its original size. The process requires constant agitation of the mixture to prevent scorching. As a kettle slowly fills to overflow, its hinged top opens and the popped corn is expelled. The popped corn falls on a conveyor belt and is separated into waste and merchantable corn by passing through a perforated drum.

The finished product is put into five pound polyethylene bags which are sealed with a piece of wire which produces an air-tight seal. Occasionally, heavy paper bags are used; these are also airtight. The containers are then transferred, as soon as possible, to Berlo's concessions in trucks owned by the company.

The containers are stored at the concessions and later emptied into warmers owned by Berlo and maintained at the concessions. Consumers purchase the popcorn at the concession stands in containers of various sizes and ...


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