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Estate of DiMillo v. Tax Assessor
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MAINE SUPREME JUDICIAL COURT					Reporter of Decisions
Decision:	1999 ME 154
Docket:	Cum-99-239
Argued:	October 6, 1999
Decided:	October 28, 1999




	[¶1]  The Estate of Antonio DiMillo{1} appeals from a summary
judgment entered in the Superior Court (Cumberland County, Crowley, J.)
which determined that a "new hull structure" fabricated at Bath Iron Works
(BIW) and attached to DiMillo's Restaurant was tangible personal property
subject to use tax pursuant to 36 M.R.S.A. § 1861.  The DiMillo Estate
contends that labor required to fabricate the hull structure at BIW was not
tangible personal property subject to taxation. 
	[¶2]  Imposition of the tax was challenged pursuant to 36 M.R.S.A.
§ 151 which requires the trial court to decide taxability issues "de novo."
See Apex Custom Lease Corp. v. State Tax Assessor, 677 A.2d 530, 532 (Me.
1996).  As there are no disputes as to material facts in this case, the matter
was appropriately presented and decided on summary judgment.  Id.  We
affirm the judgment.
	[¶3]  DiMillo's is a floating restaurant on the Portland Waterfront
created from a former ferry boat.  In 1993, Antonio DiMillo determined that
repair of the hull of his restaurant was necessary.  In cooperation with a
marine architect and BIW, DiMillo determined that the most efficient
method of repair would be prefabrication of a "new hull structure" and
attachment of that structure to the restaurant's existing hull.  That repair
was accomplished.  Subsequently, a dispute developed between DiMillo and
the State Tax Assessor over whether the $256,168 cost of prefabricating the
new hull structure was taxable as part of the tangible personal property cost
of the structure.  Although originally disputed, the State Tax Assessor does
not now contend that the separate $233,832 cost of attaching the new hull
structure to the existing hull was taxable.  
	[¶4]  Tangible personal property is taxable pursuant to 36 M.R.S.A.
§ 1861 which makes any item of "tangible personal property" taxable if it
would be subject to tax under 36 M.R.S.A. § 1764 (casual sales) or § 1811
(sales).  There is no real dispute that the hull structure is tangible personal
property.  The question in dispute is whether the cost of fabrication of the
hull structure is exempted from the definition of sale price because it is a
"price received for labor or services used in installing or applying or
repairing the property sold or fabricated, if separately charged or stated." 
36 M.R.S.A. § 1752(14)(B)(4).  The DiMillo Estate contends that all of the
fabrication labor was performed incident to a repair.  However, the Superior
Court correctly determined that the labor incident to fabrication of the new
hull structure was an element in the cost of that item of tangible personal
property which was then used in the repair of the restaurant.  Thus, the
fabrication costs for the new hull structure are taxable.  
	The entry is:
			Judgment affirmed.
Attorney for plaintiff: Kurt E. Olafsen, Esq., (orally) Olafsen & Butterworth P O Box 130 Portland, ME 04112 Attorneys for defendant: Andrew Ketterer, Attorney General Crombie J.D. Garrett, Asst. Atty. General, (orally) 6 State House Station Augusta, ME 04333-0006
FOOTNOTES******************************** {1} . Mr. DiMillo died during the course of this appeal. His estate is substituted as the plaintiff/appellant in this matter.