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LOUIS F. GILBERTI v. CITY PITTSBURGH (05/29/85)

decided: May 29, 1985.

LOUIS F. GILBERTI, SUCCESSOR TO HIGHLANDS AND GILBERTI, ARCHITECTS, APPELLANT
v.
THE CITY OF PITTSBURGH, A MUNICIPAL CORPORATION, APPELLEE



Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County in the case of Louis F. Gilberti, successor to Highlands and Gilberti, Architects v. The City of Pittsburgh, a municipal corporation, No. SA 669 of 1982.

COUNSEL

Mark A. Griffith, with him, Lisle A. Zehner, III, Davis, Reilly & Zehner, P.C., for appellant.

Ronald H. Pferdehirt, Assistant City Solicitor, with him, Grace Harris, Assistant City Solicitor, and D. R. Pellegrini, City Solicitor, for appellee.

President Judge Crumlish, Jr. and Judges Craig, MacPhail, Doyle, Barry, Colins and Palladino. Opinion by Judge Doyle. Dissenting Opinion by Judge Barry. Judge Craig joins in this dissent.

Author: Doyle

[ 89 Pa. Commw. Page 542]

This is an appeal by Louis F. Gilberti from a decision and order of the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County dismissing Mr. Gilberti's appeal of a deficiency assessment by the City of Pittsburgh (City) for the City's Business Privilege Tax (Tax). Specifically, Mr. Gilberti appeals a deficiency of $2,103.55 for the tax years 1977 through 1980.

The City has enacted the Tax pursuant to the statutory authority set forth in Section 2 of The Local

[ 89 Pa. Commw. Page 543]

Tax Enabling Act, Act of December 31, 1965, P.L. 1257, as amended, 53 P.S. ยง 6902 (Enabling Act). The pertinent portion of the Enabling Act permits political subdivisions such as the City to:

Section 243.02 of the Pittsburgh Code (Code) establishes the Tax by providing that "[e]very person engaging in any business in the City shall pay an annual tax at the rate of six mills on each dollar of volume of the gross annual receipts thereof." "Business" is defined in Section 243.01(a)(1) of the Code as:

Carrying on or exercising whether for gain or profit or otherwise within the City any trade, business, including but not limited to financial business as herein defined, profession, vocation, service, construction, communication or commercial activity, or rendering services from or attributable to a bona fide City office or place of business. (Emphasis added.)

Section 243.01(e)(3) of the Code, however, provides an exclusion for:

[r]eceipts or that portion thereof attributable to interstate or foreign commerce or to a bona fide office or place of business regularly maintained by the taxpayer, outside the City limits, and not for the purpose of evading tax payment, and those receipts which the City is prohibited from taxing by law. Such receipts shall be ...


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