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Magma Copper Co. v. Arizona State Tax Commission

Supreme Court of Arizona

March 15, 1948

MAGMA COPPER CO.
v.
ARIZONA STATE TAX COMMISSION

Appeal from Superior Court, Pinal County; Benjamin Blake, Judge.

Proceeding by the Magma Copper Company against the Arizona State Tax Commission, by way of appeal to the superior court from an order entered by the Commission in an income tax matter. From an order dismissing attempted appeal to the superior court for lack of jurisdiction, the Magma Copper Company appeals.

Affirmed.

Edward W. Rice, of Globe, and Roy C. Bonebrake, of New York City, for appellant.

John L. Sullivan, Atty. Gen., and Burr Sutter, Asst. Atty. Gen., for appellee.

Phelps, Superior Judge. La Prade and Udall, JJ., concur. Stanford, C. J., being ill, the Honorable M. T. Phelps, Judge of the Superior Court of Maricopa County, was called to sit in his stead.

OPINION

Phelps, Superior Judge.

Page 170

[67 Ariz. 79] This is an appeal relative to an income tax matter by the Magma Copper Company, a corporation (appellant), from an order of the trial court dismissing for lack of jurisdiction its attempted appeal to the Superior Court from an order of the Arizona State Tax Commission (appellee).

The material facts in this case are, in substance, as follows: On September 15, 1941, the Arizona State Tax Commission, (hereinafter referred to as the Commission) pursuant to provisions of law relating to the collection of income tax, by its Order No. 178 -- 1941 -- 9, levied additional assessments of income taxes on appellant for the years 1939 and 1940.

Appellant promptly protested such assessments and requested a hearing before the Commission, setting forth the grounds on which said request was made. A hearing was held before the Commission on April 22, 1942. Thereafter, on December 29, 1942, the Commission, by its Order No. 216 denied said protest and affirmed said assessment.

No appeal was taken from said order but on January 7, 1943, appellant requested a rehearing on the order of the Commission affirming said assessments in order that further evidence and proposals for an equitable settlement thereof might be presented.

[67 Ariz. 80] On January 13, 1943, the Commission entered its Order No. 2 -- 1943 -- 1 rescinding Order No. 216 dated December 29, 1942,

Page 171

and stated in said order that said recision was made in order that appellant might present additional evidence for the consideration of the Commission and set January 16, 1943, as the date for rehearing.

The matter came on for hearing as scheduled and evidence presented at the original hearing was discussed but no new evidence of any nature was presented.

Decision on the matter was still pending in March, 1945, when appellant filed with the Commission objections to additional income assessments for the years 1939 and 1940 and request for further hearing supported by the affidavit of one J. R. Mays, Chief Clerk and Auditor of the appellant company.

On October 11, 1945, the Commission by its Order No. 49 -- 1945 -- 10 denied further hearing and confirmed its original assessments with some minor reductions.

Within the statutory period, appellant appealed to the Superior Court of Pinal County from said order.

The parties entered into a stipulation of facts and briefs were filed by both appellant and the Commission on the merits of the case. In addition thereto the Commission filed a motion to dismiss said appeal on the ground that the court lacked jurisdiction of the subject matter.

It was the contention of the Attorney General, representing the Commission, both before the trial court and here, that the latter had exhausted its jurisdiction in the matter when it entered its Order No. 216 on December 29, 1942, and that all action taken by it thereafter was null and void, and that the order from which the appellant was attempting to appeal was null and void and therefore the Superior Court was without jurisdiction to entertain said appeal.

On October 2, 1946, the Superior Court granted said motion to dismiss, leaving undecided the merits of ...


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