Appeal from Montgomery County Common Pleas Court, Honorable Horace A. Davenport, Judge.
Joseph C. Bright, Jr., with him, Stephen P. Chawaga, Drinker, Biddle & Reath, Philadelphia, for appellants.
Bert M. Goodman, Asst. Sol., with him, R. Stephen Barrett, Asst. Sol., for appellee.
Crumlish, Jr., President Judge, and Colins and McGinley, JJ.
[ 129 Pa. Commw. Page 282]
These consolidated appeals are from decisions by the Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas (trial court) affirming rulings by the Montgomery County Board of Assessment Appeals (Board) that the interests in certain limited partnerships owned by the Estate of Henry S. McNeil and the Estate of Robert E. Lamberton, III (Estates) are subject to Section 1 of the Act of June 17, 1913, P.L. 507, as amended, 72 P.S. § 4821 (County Personal Property Tax Act).*fn1 We reverse.
Robert E. Lamberton, III died on April 22, 1985, owning interests in three limited partnerships which passed to the
[ 129 Pa. Commw. Page 283]
Lamberton estate. One of the partnerships was formed under and is governed by the laws of Pennsylvania; the remaining two were formed under and are governed by the laws of Idaho. Both Pennsylvania and Idaho have adopted a version of the Uniform Limited Partnership Act (Uniform Act).*fn2 On July 14, 1987, the Lamberton estate received a corrected personal property tax bill in the amount of $5,434.41, reflecting the Board's determination that the estate's interests in the limited partnerships were taxable property for the years 1982 to 1985.
Henry S. McNeil died on May 2, 1983, owning interests in five limited partnerships which passed to the McNeil estate. None were formed under or governed by the laws of Pennsylvania; two were formed under and governed by the laws of Texas, and one each under the laws of Maine, Ohio and Guam. Each of these states has adopted a version of the Uniform Act. McNeil acquired his interests between 1971 and 1981. On February 12, 1986, the McNeil estate received a corrected personal property tax bill in the amount of $48,888.68, reflecting the Board's determination that the estate's interests in the limited partnerships were taxable property for the years 1978 to 1983.
The Estates appealed their tax bills to the Board, and the appeals were denied. The Estates appealed to the trial court and the parties filed a joint stipulation of facts. The trial court affirmed the Board's decision in each appeal on January 17, 1989. The executors of the Estates filed timely appeals to this Court and the matters were consolidated by order on March 6, 1989.*fn3
The Board argues that the Estates' interests in the Uniform Act limited partnerships are ...