Rhoads, Sinon & Reader, Frank A. Sinon, Harrisburg, for appellant.
Vincent J. Dopko, Deputy Atty. Gen., Harrisburg, for appellee.
Harry J. Rubin, Gerald Krekstein, Harrisburg, for amicus curiae, Chrysler Realty Corp.
Jones, C. J., and Eagen, O'Brien, Roberts, Pomeroy, Nix, and Manderino, JJ. Nix, J., concurs in the result.
Columbia Gas Transmission Corporation (appellant) appeals*fn1 from Judgment of the Commonwealth Court which affirmed the determination of the Board of Finance and Revenue. The Board sustained the Department of Revenue's computation and settlement of Columbia's liability for the Excise Tax on Foreign Corporations*fn2 for the period July 1, 1971, through December 31, 1971.
Appellant raises four contentions on this appeal: (1) the foreign excise tax as imposed here violates the Commerce Clause of the United States Constitution as a tax on interstate commerce; (2) appellant's increase in capital was not properly apportioned under the applicable statutory formula; (3) the foreign excise tax violates appellant's rights under the uniformity clause of the Pennsylvania Constitution and the equal protection
clause of the United States Constitution; and (4) the credit allowed to appellant for domestic excise taxes paid by its predecessor was improperly computed and levied. We find appellant's third contention meritorious.*fn3 The Foreign Excise Tax violates appellant's rights under the uniformity clause of the Pennsylvania Constitution. We reverse the Judgment of the Commonwealth Court.
The Excise Tax on Foreign Corporations was enacted as part of the "Tax Reform Code of 1971."*fn4 Article X of the Code provides, in relevant part:
". . . every foreign corporation, in addition to complying with all the laws of the Commonwealth now or hereafter in effect, shall, for the privilege of exercising its franchises in Pennsylvania, pay . . . an excise tax of one-third of one per cent upon the amount of any increase of capital actually employed within this Commonwealth."
Act of March 4, 1971, P.L. 6, art. X, § 1002, 72 P.S. § 8002 (Supp.1975). The Excise Tax on Domestic Corporations,*fn5 in effect during this ...