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GORDON LUBRICATING COMPANY v. ALLEGHENY COUNTY BOARD PROPERTY ASSESSMENT (12/16/64)

decided: December 16, 1964.

GORDON LUBRICATING COMPANY
v.
ALLEGHENY COUNTY BOARD OF PROPERTY ASSESSMENT, APPEALS AND REVIEW, APPELLANT



Appeal from order of Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, July T., 1959, No. 174, in case of Gordon Lubricating Company v. Board of Property Assessment, Appeals and Review of Allegheny County.

COUNSEL

Harold Gondelman, Assistant County Solicitor, with him Francis A. Barry, First Assistant County Solicitor, and Maurice Louik, County Solicitor, for appellant.

Frank W. Ittel, with him Frank W. Ittel, Jr., and Reed, Smith, Shaw & McClay, for appellee.

Ervin, Wright, Woodside, Watkins, Montgomery, and Flood, JJ. (Rhodes, P. J., absent). Opinion by Woodside, J.

Author: Woodside

[ 204 Pa. Super. Page 442]

This is an appeal from the order of the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County reversing the County Board of Property Assessment, Appeals and Review which had held that certain oil tanks were taxable as real estate. The court excluded the tanks from taxation on the ground that they were "within the category of machinery, tools and other equipment contemplated in the Act of 1933, P. L. 853 as amended."

The relevant statute provides:

"Section 201. Subjects of Taxation Enumerated -- The following subjects and property shall, as hereinafter provided, be valued and assessed, and subject to taxation for all county, city, borough, town, township, school and poor purposes at the annual rate:

"(a) All real estate, to wit: Houses, house trailers permanently attached to land, lands, lots of ground and ground rents, trailer parks and parking lots, mills and manufactories of all kinds, furnaces, forges, bloomeries, distilleries, sugar houses, malt houses, breweries, tan yards, fisheries, and ferries, wharves,

[ 204 Pa. Super. Page 443]

    and all other real estate not exempt by law from taxation. Machinery, tools, appliances and other equipment contained in any mill, mine, manufactory or industrial establishment shall not be considered or included as a part of the real estate in determining the value of such mill, mine, manufactory or industrial establishment: . . ." The General County Assessment Law of May 22, 1933, P. L. 853, § 201(a), as amended, July 16, 1957, P. L. 954, 72 P.S. § 5020-201.

The question here is simply whether the oil tanks at issue are "equipment contained in any . . . industrial establishment," as the term is used in the above act.*fn1

In Gulf Oil Corporation v. Philadelphia, 357 Pa. 101, 53 A.2d 250 (1947), the Supreme Court held that oil storage tanks in which take place physical and chemical processes necessary to the processing of the manufactured product ...


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