231 Conn. 378 (1994) | Cited 13 times | Supreme Court of Connecticut | November 29, 1994

The dispositive issue in this tax appealis whether the plaintiff taxpayer has established itsentitlement to a sales and use tax exemption pursuantto General Statutes § 12-412(8) or (24).1 The plaintiff,Advanced Business Systems, Inc., installs and maintainscoin-operated photocopying machines in publiclibraries for the use of patrons of the library and thegeneral public. The defendant, Allan A. Crystal, thecommissioner of revenue services, after auditing theplaintiff's tax returns for the years 1988, 1989 and1990, found the plaintiff liable for an additional salesand use tax assessment, as well as a penalty and interest.The plaintiff filed an appeal to the trial court pursuantto General Statutes § 12-422. In light of thestipulated facts and the governing law, the trial court

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     rendered a judgment dismissing the plaintiff's appeal.The plaintiff thereafter filed a further appeal in theAppellate Court, which we transferred to this court pursuantto Practice Book § 4023 and General Statutes§ 51-199(c). We affirm the judgment of the trial court.

The facts are not disputed. The plaintiff retainedexclusive control of, as well as responsibility for, theoperation of its photocopying machines. It receivedand retained all the revenues generated by the machineswith the exception of a commission paid to the publiclibraries in which the machines were installed. Althoughthe public libraries concededly qualify as tax exemptorganizations pursuant to § 12-412, the plaintiff has notclaimed that it has a tax exempt status except insofaras its transactions with the public libraries qualify foran exemption pursuant to subsections (8) or (24) of§ 12-412.

A taxpayer bears the burden of proving the improprietyof an adverse assessment concerning a taxexemption. United Illuminating Co. v. Groppo,220 Conn. 749, 752-53, 601 A.2d 1005 (1992); Plastic ToolingAids Laboratory, Inc. v. Commissioner of RevenueServices, 213 Conn. 365, 369, 567 A.2d 1218 (1990). Thetrial court carefully examined the record before it andconcluded that the plaintiff had failed to establish thatits sales of photocopies to the general public qualifiedfor an exemption either as sales "to charitable and religiousorganizations," pursuant to § 12-412(8), or assales "by public libraries," pursuant to § 12-412(24).The thoughtful and comprehensive memorandum ofdecision filed by the trial court thoroughly canvassedthe applicable statutory language, its legislative historyand relevant case holdings. See Advanced Business Systems,Inc. v. Crystal, 43 Conn. Sup. 253, 650 A.2d 641(1994). Because that memorandum of decision fullystates and meets the arguments raised in the presentappeal, we adopt the trial court's well reasoned decision

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     as a statement of the facts and the applicable lawon these issues. It would serve no useful purpose forus to repeat the discussion contained therein. See VanDyck Printing Co. v. DiNicola, 231 Conn. 272, 273-74,648 A.2d 877 (1994); Connecticut Resources RecoveryAuthority v. Refuse Gardens, 229 Conn. 455, 458-59,642 A.2d 697 (1994); Daw's Critical Care Registry, Inc.v. Department of Labor, 225 Conn. 99, 101-102,622 A.2d 518 (1993).

The judgment is affirmed.

1. General Statutes § 12-412 provides in relevant part: "EXEMPTIONS.Taxes imposed by this chapter shall not apply to the gross receipts fromthe sale of and the storage, use or other consumption in this state withrespect to the following items . . . . "(8) CHARITABLE AND RELIGIOUS ORGANIZATIONS. Sales of tangible propertyor services to charitable and religious organizations. . . . "(24) MUNICIPAL PUBLICATIONS, SALES BY PUBLIC LIBRARIES OR BYMUNICIPAL AUCTION. Sales of municipal publications such as informationbooklets and zoning regulations, tangible personal property sold by publiclibraries and the sale of any property at auction by a municipality,whenever the sale of any such foregoing item is in an amount of lessthan five dollars. . . ."

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