Ox Ridge Hunt Club, Inc. v. Tax Com'r

CourtSupreme Court of Connecticut
Writing for the CourtBefore HOUSE; SPEZIALE; In this opinion HOUSE; BOGDANSKI
Citation175 Conn. 90,394 A.2d 194
PartiesOX RIDGE HUNT CLUB, INC. v. TAX COMMISSIONER of the State of Connecticut.
Decision Date02 May 1978

Page 194

394 A.2d 194
175 Conn. 90
TAX COMMISSIONER of the State of Connecticut.
Supreme Court of Connecticut.
Argued Jan. 5, 1978.
Decided May 2, 1978.

Page 195

William B. Rush, Bridgeport, with whom was Collin P. Baron, Bridgeport, for appellant (plaintiff).

Richard K. Greenberg, Asst. Atty. Gen., with whom, on the brief, were Carl R. Ajello, Atty. Gen., and Ralph G. Murphy, Asst. Atty. Gen., for appellee (defendant).


SPEZIALE, Associate Judge.

The sole issue presented on this appeal is whether certain charges imposed upon [175 Conn. 91] members of a riding club for the boarding of horses are taxable as "dues" under General Statutes § 12-543. 1

In 1974, the defendant tax commissioner assessed additional taxes against the plaintiff on the basis that horseboard charges imposed upon club members who boarded their horses in stables maintained by the club were subject to taxation as dues under General Statutes § 12-543. The plaintiff brought an appeal of that assessment to the Court of Common Pleas. The appeal was dismissed, and it is from the judgment rendered in favor of the tax commissioner that the plaintiff has appealed to this court.

The stipulation of facts under which the issue was submitted to the Court of Common Pleas was adopted by that court in its finding of facts. The court found that the plaintiff is a nonstock corporation in Darien, existing under the laws of the state of Connecticut, and formed for the purpose of fostering friendship, communication and social contact for its members. The club maintains various facilities,[175 Conn. 92] including a clubhouse with eating facilities, stables, and indoor and outdoor riding facilities, with access to nearby riding trails. It also supports and manages horse shows, competitions, and horse care exhibitions, and attempts to provide members with information and expertise in matters related to their mutual interest in riding. Active members of the club pay an initiation fee and, thereafter, annual dues in a specified

Page 196

amount. Members may board their horses in the stables maintained on the club grounds, but there is no requirement that they do so. Approximately 45 of the 112 members board horses in these stables for some portion of the year.

The charge for horseboard is billed monthly and is prorated by dividing the monthly rate by thirty if a horse is boarded for less than a full month. Nonmembers who board horses are charged $5.00 per day if the horse is boarded for five or fewer days; if they use the club stables for more than five days, the charge is computed at the same prorated monthly rate which applies to members. The horseboard charges, which are shown separately in the member's monthly billing, are intended to cover wages paid to the grooms and supervisory personnel, and the cost of feed, bedding and other supplies used in boarding the horses; they are not intended to cover the cost of maintaining the barns, which costs are defrayed by general membership dues.

On the basis of these facts, the court concluded that the horseboard charges were "dues" as defined in General Statutes § 12-540(5) and were therefore taxable under § 12-543. We do not agree.

"Dues" were defined in General Statutes § 12-528 (effective July 1, 1969, through June 30, 1971) to include "any assessment, irrespective of the purpose [175 Conn. 93] 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." The present definition of "dues" in § 12-540(5) is virtually the same as its predecessor, including amounts charged to members "irrespective of the purpose for which made and any charges for social, athletic or sporting privileges or facilities for any period of more than six days."

The dues tax and the definitional provisions in the General Statutes are derived from and modeled on the former federal excise tax on club dues (§§ 4241 and 4242 of the Internal Revenue Code and prior federal enactments, all of which have since been repealed), and the definition of dues in the...

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2 cases
  • Electrical Contractors, Inc. v. Tianti, 14335
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Connecticut
    • August 18, 1992
    ...of what is required in regard to the payment of the prevailing rate of wage. See Ox Ridge Hunt Club, Inc. v. Tax Commissioner, 175 Conn. 90, 93, 394 A.2d 194 On the basis of our construction of the statute, we hold that overtime is not a "customary or prevailing" wage obligation under § 31-......
  • Aspetuck Valley Country Club, Inc. v. Tax Com'r
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Connecticut
    • March 4, 1980
    ...fees, § 4242 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954, which was repealed in 1965. See Ox Ridge Hunt Club, Inc. v. Tax Commissioner, 175 Conn. 90, 394 A.2d 194 (1978); Int.Rev.Code of 1954, § 4242 (repealed 1965). In cases involving the federal excise tax, the terms "irrespective of the person ......

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