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COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA v. AMERICAN ANTI-VIVISECTION SOCIETY (09/26/77)

decided: September 26, 1977.

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA
v.
THE AMERICAN ANTI-VIVISECTION SOCIETY, APPELLANT



Appeal from the Order of the Board of Finance and Revenue in case of In Re: American Anti-Vivisection Society, Docket No. RST-655.

COUNSEL

Joel D. Beaver, with him Daniel Sherman, for appellant.

Joseph F. Lynch, Deputy Attorney General, with him Donald J. Murphy, Deputy Attorney General, for appellee.

Judges Crumlish, Jr., Kramer and Blatt, sitting as a panel of three. Judge Kramer did not participate in the decision. Opinion by Judge Crumlish, Jr. Judge Kramer did not participate in the decision in this case. See Pa. R.a.p. 3102(d).

Author: Crumlish

[ 32 Pa. Commw. Page 71]

This is an appeal from a decision of the Board of Finance and Revenue, dated February 26, 1975, which sustained an order of the Board of Review of the Bureau of Taxes for Education, Department of Revenue, dated October 1, 1974. The Board of Review had refused a "Petition for Refund of Sales Tax" filed by The American Anti-Vivisection Society (Taxpayer). The petition alleged, in essence, that the Society was

[ 32 Pa. Commw. Page 72]

    exempt from the Commonwealth's sales tax on its purchases by virtue of its 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. The parties have submitted a stipulation of facts which we adopt as our findings of fact. We will restrict our review to the agreed-upon stipulation of facts and will disregard the attempts by both parties to set forth new factual materials in their briefs.

The Taxpayer is a nonprofit corporation which was incorporated in 1883. Taxpayer's principal office is in Philadelphia. Taxpayer derives its income from membership dues, from trust funds, from investments in securities, from voluntary contributions and from bequests. From its very inception, Taxpayer's basic purposes and goals have been to completely abolish vivisection experimentation. The Taxpayer attempts to educate the public to both current and proposed practices of vivisectional experimentation. It sponsors speakers who lecture on vivisection and animal cruelty; it actively opposes and sponsors legislation which either contravenes or supports its basic philosophies; it publishes a magazine, The A.V., which contains articles concerning the subject; and it conducts mass media campaigns to create public awareness on certain vivisectional issues.

Vivisection is generally defined as the performance of surgical procedures upon living animals for physiological or pathological research and experimentation. Dorland's Illustrated Medical Dictionary, 1699 (24th ed. 1965).

The sole issue presented by this case is whether the Taxpayer is exempt from the Commonwealth's sales tax by virtue of its alleged status as a "charitable ...


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