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BIOSCIENCES INFORMATION SERVICE v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (12/22/88)

decided: December 22, 1988.

BIOSCIENCES INFORMATION SERVICE, PETITIONER
v.
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, RESPONDENT



Appeals from the Orders of the Board of Finance and Revenue in the cases of In Re: Biological Abstracts Inc. (now Biosciences Information Service), Docket No. RST-3643 and In Re: Biological Abstracts Inc. (now Biosciences Information Service), Docket No. RST-3644.

COUNSEL

Joseph C. Bright, Jr., with him, Morris R. Brooke, Drinker, Biddle & Reath, for petitioner.

Bartholomew J. DeLuca, Jr., Deputy Attorney General, with him, LeRoy S. Zimmerman, Attorney General, for respondent.

President Judge Crumlish, Jr., and Judges Craig, Doyle, Barry, Colins, Palladino and McGinley. Opinion by Judge Colins. Judge MacPhail did not participate in the decision in this case.

Author: Colins

[ 122 Pa. Commw. Page 295]

Biosciences Information Service (BIOSIS) has filed exceptions to a decision rendered by a panel of this Court in Biosciences Information Service v. Commonwealth, 101 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 384, 516 A.2d 434 (1986) (BIOSIS III), which declared that BIOSIS does not fulfill the criteria of a purely public charity and, therefore, is not entitled to the public charity exemption pursuant to Section 204(10) of the Tax Reform Code of 1971 (Code).*fn1 Consequently, BIOSIS III affirmed, for the second time, two orders of the Board of Finance (Board) which, likewise, affirmed use tax assessments imposed by the Department of Revenue (Department) for two tax audit periods.

[ 122 Pa. Commw. Page 296]

This matter involves two consolidated petitions for review of determinations of the Board. BIOSIS initially petitioned this Court in 1985 following the Board's affirmance of the Department's imposition of use tax assessments against BIOSIS. By an opinion dated July 12, 1985, we affirmed the Board's orders. Subsequently, BIOSIS filed exceptions*fn2 challenging this Court's findings of fact, and its failure to make findings of fact and conclusions of law. On reargument before this Court en banc, BIOSIS' exceptions were sustained and the 1985 order was vacated. Accordingly, a new opinion was ordered, including findings of fact, based upon the record, to resolve the legal issues involved.

The findings of fact which were made by this Court in BIOSIS III were based upon a partial stipulation of facts made by the parties, as well as upon an evidentiary hearing which was held November 14, 1984. These findings of fact are as follows:

1. BIOSIS is a nonprofit corporation organized under the laws of the District of Columbia, with its headquarters located at 21st and Arch Streets, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

2. BIOSIS obtains and abstracts biological sciences literature from around the world. The abstracts are compiled and indexed into manuscripts, then bound and delivered to interested institutions and individuals.

3. BIOSIS receives, free of charge, publications from around the world dealing with biological sciences. Many scientists donate their services to BIOSIS.

4. BIOSIS publishes reference data and maintains the data as part of its permanent library. Additionally, BIOSIS performs searches of the library upon request.

[ 122 Pa. Commw. Page 2975]

. Subscribers to BIOSIS publications include government agencies, medical schools, research laboratories, ...


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