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BUSINESS TAX BUREAU PHILADELPHIA SCHOOL DISTRICT v. AMERICAN CYANAMID COMPANY (06/29/67)

decided: June 29, 1967.

BUSINESS TAX BUREAU OF PHILADELPHIA SCHOOL DISTRICT
v.
AMERICAN CYANAMID COMPANY, APPELLANT



Appeal from order of Court of Common Pleas No. 4 of Philadelphia County, Dec. T., 1963, No. 2621, in case of Business Tax Bureau of the School District of Philadelphia v. American Cyanamid Company.

COUNSEL

Gordon W. Gerber, with him Henry T. Dechert, and Dechert, Price & Rhoads, for appellant.

Joseph W. Marshall, with him Edward B. Soken, for appellee.

Bell, C. J., Musmanno, Jones, Eagen, O'Brien and Roberts, JJ. Opinion by Mr. Justice Jones. Mr. Justice Cohen took no part in the consideration or decision of this case. Dissenting Opinion by Mr. Justice Roberts. Mr. Justice Eagen joins in this dissenting opinion.

Author: Jones

[ 426 Pa. Page 71]

On this appeal, American Cyanamid Company, [Cyanamid], challenges the validity of an order of the Court of Common Pleas No. 4 of Philadelphia County which upheld the propriety of an assessment of taxes by the School District of Philadelphia, [School District]. These taxes were assessed and levied under

[ 426 Pa. Page 72]

    the so-called "General Business Tax" statute*fn1 for the benefit of the School District for the years 1960 to 1963 inclusive.*fn2

Cyanamid, a Maine corporation, engaged in the manufacture and marketing of chemicals, pharmaceutical and related products, maintains its principal office in Wayne, New Jersey.*fn3 Prior to July 28, 1958, Cyanamid did maintain a branch office and warehouse in Philadelphia but since that date it has had no office, warehouse or other facility in Philadelphia. During the tax years in question, Cyanamid had no manufacturing plant in Philadelphia; of its 53 manufacturing plants in the United States, Cyanamid, originally, had three, and, later, two -- in Latrobe and New Castle -- manufacturing plants in Pennsylvania.

In July, 1958, Cyanamid opened a branch office in Fort Washington, Montgomery County.*fn4 The major function of the Fort Washington office is the processing of orders received from customers, either by mail or telephone. If a customer orders a product which

[ 426 Pa. Page 73]

    is warehoused at Fort Washington, the product is shipped to the customer by mail or common carrier and payment therefor is made by the customer either to Fort Washington or to Wayne, New Jersey. If the product ordered is not warehoused in Fort Washington, the Fort Washington office requests the location where the product is warehoused to make the shipment and to bill the customer and no payment therefor is received at Fort Washington.

Insofar as presently pertinent, Cyanamid maintains two bank accounts at Girard Trust Company in Fort Washington and has no account or accounts in any bank in Philadelphia. Adjustments of customers' complaints, collections of delinquent accounts and the selection of common carriers are all handled by Cyanamid's facilities and personnel located outside Philadelphia. The Fort Washington office has a Philadelphia telephone number and is listed in the Philadelphia telephone directory for the purpose of rendering available emergency services to hospitals, etc. in connection with its pharmaceutical products. Prices for products, terms of sales, freight allowances, etc. are arranged only at ...


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