Allied-Signal, Inc. v. Director, Div. of Taxation, 504 U.S. 768, 9 (1992)

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Opinion of the Court

After respondent assessed Bendix for taxes on an apportioned amount which included in the base the gain realized upon Bendix's disposition of its ASARCO stock, Bendix sued for a refund in New Jersey Tax Court. The case was decided based upon the stipulated record we have described, and the Tax Court held that the assessment was proper. Bendix Corp. v. Taxation Div. Director, 10 N. J. Tax 46 (1988). The Appellate Division affirmed, Bendix Corp. v. Director, Div. of Taxation, 237 N. J. Super. 328, 568 A. 2d 59 (1989), and so, in turn, did the New Jersey Supreme Court, Bendix Corp. v. Director, Div. of Taxation, 125 N. J. 20, 592 A. 2d 536 (1991).

The New Jersey Supreme Court held it was constitutional

to consider the gain realized from the sale of the ASARCO stock as earned in Bendix's unitary business, drawing from our decision in Container Corp. of America v. Franchise Tax Bd., 463 U. S. 159, 166 (1983), the principle that "the context for determining whether a unitary business exists has, as an overriding consideration, the exchange or transfer of value, which may be evidenced by functional integration, centralization of management, and economies of scale." 125 N. J., at 34, 592 A. 2d, at 543-544. The New Jersey Supreme Court went on to state: "The tests for determining a unitary business are not controlled, however, by the relationship between the taxpayer recipient and the affiliate generator of the income that becomes the subject of State tax." Id., at 35, 592 A. 2d, at 544. Based upon Bendix documents setting out corporate strategy, the court found that the acquisition and sale of ASARCO "went well beyond . . . passive investments in business enterprises," id., at 36, 592 A. 2d, at 544, and Bendix "essentially had a business function of corporate acquisitions and divestitures that was an integral operational activity." Ibid. As support for its conclusion that the proceeds from the sale of the ASARCO stock were attributable to a unitary business, the New Jersey Supreme Court relied in part on the fact that Bendix intended to use those pro-

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