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Murphy v. Essex County Board of Taxation

Decided: November 23, 1942.

VINCENT J. MURPHY, TAX COLLECTOR, ETC., PROSECUTOR,
v.
ESSEX COUNTY BOARD OF TAXATION ET AL., DEFENDANTS



On writs of certiorari.

For the prosecutor, Raymond Schroeder and Joseph A. Ward.

For the defendants, Wall, Haight, Carey & Hartpence and Edward J. O'Mara.

Before Justices Case, Donges and Colie.

Donges

The opinion of the court was delivered by

DONGES, J. These writs of certiorari bring up two determinations of the Essex County Board of Taxation dismissing complaints filed with that body by the City of Newark seeking to include as property omitted from the assessment rolls for the years 1939 and 1940 certain intangible personal

property of the defendant National Biscuit Company. The County Board held that Newark was not the municipality where personal property of the defendant could be assessed for taxation under R.S. 54:4-18, which provides:

"Corporations of this state shall be regarded as residents and inhabitants of the taxing district where their chief office is located, and their personal property shall be taxed the same as that of an individual, except as in this chapter otherwise provided."

The National Biscuit Company is a New Jersey corporation having its statutory "principal" or "registered" office in the City of Jersey City. Prosecutor contends that its "chief" office within the meaning of the above section is located in Newark by reason of its business activities in that city.

Dealing with the case upon the theory advanced by the prosecutor we find that the facts are not in dispute. It appears from the stipulation in the record that the National Biscuit Company is engaged in business in forty-five states; that its executive offices are in New York City; that the entire business of the company is controlled from the executive offices.

It further appears that eleven distribution and sales agencies are maintained throughout the State of New Jersey, each operating directly under the New York office.

The business of the company is largely the manufacture and sale of crackers and it maintains thirty-five cracker bakeries, none of which is located in this state. About ten per cent. of its business arises from the manufacture and sale of bread, for which it operates ...


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