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BETHLEHEM STEEL COMPANY v. BOARD FINANCE AND REVENUE (03/15/68)

decided: March 15, 1968.

BETHLEHEM STEEL COMPANY, APPELLANT,
v.
BOARD OF FINANCE AND REVENUE



Appeal from order of Court of Common Pleas of Dauphin County No. 318 Commonwealth Docket, 1962, in case of Bethlehem Steel Company v. Board of Finance and Revenue.

COUNSEL

William H. Wood, with him Leon D. Metzger, and Metzger, Hafer, Keefer, Thomas and Wood, for appellant.

George W. Keitel, Deputy Attorney General, with him William C. Sennett, Attorney General, for Board of Finance and Revenue, 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.

Author: Jones

[ 429 Pa. Page 85]

For the years 1951 and 1952, Bethlehem Steel Company [Bethlehem] filed Net Income Tax Reports, paid the taxes computed in accordance with such reports

[ 429 Pa. Page 86]

    and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania settled the taxes on such reported basis.

On July 5, 1957, Bethlehem filed with the Board of Finance and Revenue [Board] petitions for a refund of the taxes paid in each of the two years.*fn1 The basis of both petitions was that Bethlehem and the Commonwealth had erred in arriving at the amount of taxes due: (1) in the inclusion in the denominator of the gross receipts allocation fractions of net profits derived by Bethlehem from the sale and maturity of United States securities during 1951 and 1952 rather than the inclusion of the gross proceeds from such securities transactions;*fn2 (2) in the inclusion in the numerator of the gross receipts allocation fractions of net profits from the sale and maturity of securities since neither the net profits nor the gross proceeds from such sources arose from any transaction of Bethlehem within Pennsylvania.

On May 3, 1962, the Board denied Bethlehem's petitions for refund "for lack of jurisdiction under Section 503 of the Fiscal Code in that the petition[s] [were] not timely filed."*fn3

On June 6, 1962, Bethlehem instituted in the Court of Common Pleas of Dauphin County an action of mandamus against the Board to compel it to grant

[ 429 Pa. Page 87]

    the refunds. The Board filed an answer to this action of mandamus alleging that the court lacked jurisdiction to grant the relief sought by Bethlehem. The court below, being of the opinion that Bethlehem's remedy was by an appeal to this Court in the nature of a narrow certiorari, dismissed ...


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