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DOROTHY D. TUCKER v. CITY PITTSBURGH (05/25/84)

SUPREME COURT OF PENNSYLVANIA


decided: May 25, 1984.

DOROTHY D. TUCKER, T/A LYNN DOHONEY, APPELLANT,
v.
CITY OF PITTSBURGH, A MUNICIPAL CORPORATION AND DAVID L. DONAHOE, TREASURER OF THE CITY OF PITTSBURGH, APPELLEES

No. 78 W.D. Appeal Dkt. 1983, Appeal from the Order entered May 12, 1983, in the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania at No. 99 C.D. 1980, reversing the order entered December 24, 1979, in the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, Civil Division at No. SA 480 of 1979. Nix, C.j., and Larsen, Flaherty, McDermott, Hutchinson, Zappala and Papadakos, JJ.

Author: Mcdermott

[ 504 Pa. Page 581]

OPINION

The issue in this appeal is the same as that presented in Bindex Corp. v. City of Pittsburgh, 504 Pa. 584, 475 A.2d 1320 (1984): whether appellant's activities as a commercial illustrator entitles her to an exemption from the City of

[ 504 Pa. Page 582]

Pittsburgh's Business Privilege Tax.*fn1 The facts of this case are set forth below.

Appellant, Dorothy D. Tucker, t/a Lynn Dohoney, was a self-employed commercial illustrator during the 1977 calendar year. Appellant's work involved producing illustrations for a variety of clients, to be used by them for billboards, newspapers, advertising, etc.

In 1978, appellant claimed a manufacturing exemption for the Privilege Tax. Pursuant to the Local Tax Enabling Act (LTEA),*fn2 local taxing authorities are prohibited from levying taxes on manufacturers. See 53 Pa.C.S. ยง 6902(4). The exemption claim was denied by the city, and following a Treasurer's Hearing the denial was affirmed. Appellant subsequently appealed to the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, which sustained her claim. The Commonwealth Court reversed, holding that she was not a manufacturer. Appellant herein petitioned this court for allowance of appeal and we granted allocatur.

Examination of the instant case reveals the following about appellant's activities as an illustrator. Once a client was obtained, appellant artist would be given the concept the client wished to express. Appellant would then filter the idea through her imagination, articulate it with her gift of sketch and color. Appellant and client would then pore over the sketch, discuss changes, adding light or shade until what the client sought was manifest. Appellant was equipped with papers, dyes, paints, spray varnish, all the paraphernalia required to give the imagination form and body. When all the artistic touches were rendered, the appellant artist would deliver the illustration to the client for whatever uses suited their purpose.

As we noted in Bindex, supra, the task of defining "manufacturing" has been with us for over a century. In

[ 504 Pa. Page 583]

The appellant artist follows an intellectual, imaginative and creative process; she receives a thought and creates a picture; articulates by paint and varnish, an idea. As the Commonwealth Court said,

"It is the intellectual creative aspect of appellee's activities which are dominant."

City of Pittsburgh v. Tucker, 74 Pa. Commw.Ct. 290, 295, 459 A.2d 1333, 1336 (1983). She creates what can be later made, what others can manufacture. She uses color and skill and hopefully adds to the pleasures of the world. In small recompense, she is not in the "popular or practical understanding" a "manufacturer" any more than one would say Michaelangelo "manufactured" David or Vergil the Aeneid.

The Commonwealth Court is affirmed.


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