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MAXWELL MEMORIAL FOOTBALL CLUB v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (04/23/75)

decided: April 23, 1975.

MAXWELL MEMORIAL FOOTBALL CLUB, INC., APPELLANT,
v.
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, APPELLEE



Appeal from the Order of the Board of Finance and Revenue in case of Appeal of Maxwell Memorial Football Club, Inc., No. R-25929.

COUNSEL

Ivan I. Light, with him Anthony S. Minisi, and Wolf, Block, Schorr & Solis-Cohen, for appellant.

Paul S. Roeder, Assistant Attorney General, for appellee.

President Judge Bowman and Judges Crumlish, Jr., Kramer, Wilkinson, Jr., Mencer, Rogers and Blatt. Opinion by Judge Kramer.

Author: Kramer

[ 18 Pa. Commw. Page 466]

This is an appeal from a decision of the Board of Finance and Revenue, dated August 23, 1972, which sustained an order of the Board of Review of the Bureau of Taxes for Education, Department of Revenue, dated February 7, 1972. The Board of Review had refused a "Petition for Refund of Sales Tax" filed by the Maxwell Memorial Football Club, Inc. (Maxwell). The petition alleged, in essence, that Maxwell was exempt from sales tax on its purchases by virtue of status as a "charitable organization." This is a de novo appeal, taken pursuant to section 1104 of the Fiscal Code, Act of April 9, 1929, P.L. 343, as amended, 72 P.S. ยง 1104 (Supp. 1974-1975), and the parties have submitted a stipulation of facts which we adopt as our findings of fact for the purposes of this case. The salient facts are as described below.

Facts

Maxwell is a Philadelphia-based nonprofit corporation. It was organized in 1935, and all of its activities relate to football, in one way or another. As revealed by the stipulation, Maxwell has two primary activities: (1) the conduct (during football seasons) of weekly luncheons, featuring speeches by individuals who are active in some way in scholastic, collegiate or professional football; and, (2) the annual awarding of the "Maxwell Trophy" and the "Bert Bell Trophy," to the year's outstanding collegiate and professional football player, respectively.

[ 18 Pa. Commw. Page 467]

On one occasion (June 9, 1970), Maxwell operated a football injury clinic for the benefit of Philadelphia area high school and college players, the purpose of which was to educate the players in ways "to eliminate, reduce and minimize football injuries." Although Maxwell has conducted only one such clinic, it does review each year the need for such clinics. Maxwell has also made one cash contribution of $500 (in 1973) to defray the medical expenses of a high school player who was paralyzed while playing football.

All of Maxwell's funds are derived from members' dues, contributions, and assessments for specific activities (such as luncheons and golf tournaments).

Discussion

Our scope of review in appeals from the Board of Finance and Revenue is broad, and includes, of course, the power to review for errors of law. Eastern Diversified Metals Corporation v. Commonwealth, 6 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 605, 297 A.2d 167 (1972), aff'd. per cur., 453 Pa. 611 (1973). The sole question presented by this case is whether Maxwell is exempt from the sales tax by virtue of its alleged status as a "charitable organization." Section 204(10) of the Tax Reform ...


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