Knoll Golf Club v. United States

CourtUnited States District Courts. 3th Circuit. United States District Courts. 3th Circuit. District of New Jersey
Citation179 F. Supp. 377
Docket NumberCiv. A. No. 48-59.
PartiesKNOLL GOLF CLUB, Plaintiff, v. UNITED STATES of America, Defendant.
Decision Date22 December 1959

179 F. Supp. 377

UNITED STATES of America, Defendant.

Civ. A. No. 48-59.

United States District Court D. New Jersey.

December 22, 1959.

179 F. Supp. 378

Foosaner, Saiber & Schlesinger, by Norman E. Schlesinger, Newark, N. J., for plaintiff.

Chester A. Weidenburner, U. S. Atty., Newark, N. J., Raymond W. Young, Asst. U. S. Atty., North Bergen, N. J., (Charles K. Rice, Asst. Atty. Gen., James P. Garland, Lyle M. Turner, John F. Murray, U. S. Dept. of Justice, Washington, D. C., on the brief), for defendant.

HARTSHORNE, District Judge.

Plaintiff, Knoll Golf Club, sues for a refund of Federal excise taxes paid, over objection, by it to the defendant Government for the period from July 1, 1954 to December 31, 1956. These taxes were imposed on the fees paid for individual storage lockers used by Club members. The statute under which these taxes were imposed provides:

"there shall be levied, assessed, collected, and paid—
"(1) Dues or membership fees. A tax equivalent to 20 per centum of any amount paid as dues or membership fees to any social, athletic, or sporting club or organization, if the dues or fees of an active resident annual member are in excess of $10 per year." Int.Rev.Code '39, § 1710, 26 U.S.C.A. 1952 ed. § 1710.
"(a) Dues. The term `dues' includes any assessment, irrespective of the purpose for which made, and any charges for social privileges or facilities, or for golf, tennis, polo, swimming, or other athletic or sporting privileges or facilities, for any period of more than six days." § 1712, ibid.

The above provisions are repeated verbatim in the Internal Revenue Code of 1954, §§ 4241, 4242, 26 U.S.C.A. 1952 ed. Supp. II, §§ 4241, 4242.

The stipulated facts show that the plaintiff Club is a golf club with the usual accompanying social amenities, and maintains a golf course, swimming pool and club house for the use of its members.

179 F. Supp. 379
The club house contains a lounge, dining room, bars and locker rooms for men and for women. In the men's locker room there are not only washrooms and the like, but tables and chairs for card playing, a bar, benches, open clothes racks, and an adequate number of lockers for individual use, to which a member renting a locker is given his own key. There are different classes of members, regular members paying annual dues of $300, the other members paying a lesser amount, the men paying locker fees of $100 apiece, the ladies' locker fees being smaller. The precise question is whether these locker fees are taxable as dues or membership charges under the above statute

We therefore turn to the words of the Tax Act, in the light of its purpose, its legislative history, and its judicial gloss.

Clearly, the Congressional purpose in enacting these provisions was to impose a luxury tax. A similar tax has been imposed by the Federal Government since 1917, Rev.Act 1917, § 701, Chap. 63, 40 Stat. 300. But Congress did not attempt to define...

To continue reading

Request your trial
11 cases
  • Epstein v. United States, 20-63.
    • United States
    • Court of Federal Claims
    • March 18, 1966
    ...privileges or facilities * * * for more than six days", amounts paid for locker rental are included. Knoll Golf Club v. United States, 179 F.Supp. 377 (D.N.J., 1959); Cohan v. United States, 198 F.Supp. 591 (E.D.Mich., 1961); Hoke v. United States, 215 F.Supp. 942 (S.D.W.Va., 5 That section......
  • Gould v. United States, Civ. No. 6131
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 10th Circuit. United States District Court of Colorado
    • September 28, 1960
    ...functions and the expenses incurred therein. White v. Winchester Country Club, supra; Knoll Golf Club v. United States, D.C.N.J.1959, 179 F.Supp. 377; Ship Cabin, Inc. v. Crenshaw, For the foregoing reasons, plaintiffs' claim for refund of the taxes assessed and paid was improperly disallow......
  • Freeport Country Club v. United States, 17805.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (7th Circuit)
    • July 9, 1970
    ...States, 218 F.Supp. 220 (D.Mass., 1963); Gould v. United States, 187 F.Supp. 337 (D. Colo., 1960); and Knoll Golf Club v. United States, 179 F.Supp. 377 (D.N.J., 1959). But plaintiff in applying this dichotomy misinterprets the facts at hand. The mere fact that food is received in exchange ......
  • United States v. Howe, 19732.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (9th Circuit)
    • October 25, 1965
    ...was applicable to charges made by the Detroit Yacht Club for boat-wells and lockers. In Knoll Golf Club v. United States, D.N.J.1959, 179 F.Supp. 377, the court held that a golf locker was "an aid, advantage or convenience" or "facility" for the "sport of golf as well as for the later `soci......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT