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DIAMOND AUTO LEASING v. TOWNSHIP CHELTENHAM (05/14/87)

decided: May 14, 1987.

DIAMOND AUTO LEASING, INC., APPELLANT
v.
TOWNSHIP OF CHELTENHAM, APPELLEE



Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Montgomery County in the case of Township of Cheltenham v. Diamond Auto Leasing, Inc., No. 80-14902.

COUNSEL

Alan F. Markovitz, Markovitz, Luskus, Feinstein & Meo, for appellant.

Mark C. Clemm, with him, Gilbert P. High, Jr., High, Swartz, Roberts & Seidel, for appellee.

Judges MacPhail and Barry, and Senior Judge Blatt, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge MacPhail.

Author: Macphail

[ 106 Pa. Commw. Page 162]

Diamond Auto Leasing, Inc. (Appellant) appeals from an order of the Court of Common Pleas of Montgomery County which denied Appellant's motion for post-trial relief. We affirm.

The trial court relied on a stipulation of facts entered into by Appellant and the Township of Cheltenham (Township). A review of this stipulation reveals the following.

On December 17, 1968, the Township enacted a Mercantile License Tax. On December 30, 1976, it enacted a Business Privilege Tax.

Appellant has been engaged in the business of leasing automobiles since about January 1, 1977. Appellant conducts its business from a headquarters situated in the Township.

In general, prospective lessees contact Appellant by telephone and inquire as to the availability of particular

[ 106 Pa. Commw. Page 163]

    makes and models of automobiles, as well as options which may be desired and the financial terms upon which a lease for such automobiles may be arranged. There are no automobile dealerships in Cheltenham Township so Appellant contacts various automobile dealers in the surrounding area in an attempt to find the automobiles its customers desire. Lease agreements between Appellant and potential lessees are prepared by Appellant in the Township. In most cases, Appellant mails a lease agreement to a potential lessee who then executes the lease and returns it to Appellant by mail. In some cases the lessee will execute the lease agreement at Appellant's place of business. Approximately seventy-five percent of the time, the lessee will take possession of the automobile at the location of the dealer from whom it was obtained by Appellant. Approximately twenty-five percent of the time, the lessee will take possession of the automobile at Appellant's place of business. In some cases, Appellant will deliver the automobile to the lessee.

Appellant also provides its lessees with an auto repair service. Appellant entered into a contract with Spada's Auto Service to provide the repairs. Under the contract, Spada leases space from Appellant in which it performs annual state inspections, motor tune-ups, oil changes, brake work and similar maintenance work. The automobiles are brought to Appellant's premises and the work is performed by Spada. Spada makes a labor charge for such servicing at the rate of fifty percent of the Chilton Manual recommended rate. Spada bills Appellant for the work done on cars leased by Appellant to its clients. Appellant then adds fifty percent to the labor charge on such bills and forwards the ...


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