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ERIE INSURANCE COMPANY v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (11/06/75)

decided: November 6, 1975.

ERIE INSURANCE COMPANY, APPELLANT,
v.
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, APPELLEE



Appeal from the Order of the Board of Finance and Revenue in case of In Re: Erie Insurance Company, Petition for Refund of Domestic Excise Tax, Docket No. M-23,447.

COUNSEL

James H. King, with him McNees, Wallace & Nurick, 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 Blatt.

Author: Blatt

[ 21 Pa. Commw. Page 512]

We have before us a motion by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to quash the appeal of the Erie Insurance Company (Erie) from an order of the Board of Finance

[ 21 Pa. Commw. Page 513]

    and Revenue (Board) denying Erie's November 1, 1973 request for rehearing of a matter which was decided on March 30, 1973, nearly six months earlier. On behalf of its motion, the Commonwealth argues that the then applicable sixty-day statutory period*fn1 allowing for an appeal from the Board's March 30 decision cannot be extended by the granting of a rehearing upon petition filed after the sixty-day period has elapsed.

Erie is an insurance company which became organized to do business in the Commonwealth in September of 1972. In accordance with normal procedure, Erie had submitted its Articles of Agreement to the Department of Insurance for approval and paid both a domestic excise tax in the amount of $3,200 and a $50 filing fee. The excise tax, however, had been abolished by the General Assembly effective September 10, 1972, which was after the Department of Insurance had approved the Articles of Agreement but before the Governor's approval, required for incorporation, had been granted on September 11, 1972.

On September 29, 1972 Erie wrote to the Corporation Bureau of the Secretary of Commonwealth inquiring about the possibility of a refund of the $3,200 excise tax. The Bureau responded that Erie should seek relief through the Board of Finance and Revenue, and Erie directed the following letter to the Board on November 20, 1972:

"Gentlemen:

"Attached herewith is correspondence we have had with Mr. Krause, Director of the Corporation Bureau in the office of ...


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