O'Connor, J., dissenting
The link between the ASARCO investment here and the in-state business is closer than the Court suggests. It is not just that the ASARCO investment was made to benefit Bendix as a corporate entity. As the Court points out, any investment a corporation makes is intended to benefit the corporation in general. Ante, at 789. The proper question is rather: Was the income New Jersey seeks to tax intended to be used to benefit a unitary business of which Bendix's New Jersey operations were a part?
Petitioner has not carried the heavy burden of showing by clear and cogent evidence that the capital gains from ASARCO were not operationally related to its in-state business. See Container Corp., supra, at 175. Though this case comes to us on a stipulated record, there is no stipulation that the ASARCO capital gains were not intended to be used to benefit a unitary business, part of which operated in New Jersey. Instead, the record suggests that, by the time the capital gains were realized, at least some of the income was intended to be used in the attempt to acquire a corporation also engaged in the aerospace industry. App. 70-71, 81, 193. The acquisition of Martin Marietta, had it succeeded, would have been part of petitioner's unitary aerospace business, part of which operated in New Jersey. Id., at 194. As the New Jersey Supreme Court found: "[T]he purpose of acquiring Martin Marietta was to complement the aerospace-electronics facets of Bendix business, some of which are located in New Jersey. . . . Even though the Martin Marietta takeover never came to fruition, the fact that it served as a goal for part of the capital generated by the sales of ASARCO . . . stock nurtures the premise that Bendix's in-grained policy of acquisitions and divestitures projected the existence of a unitary business." Bendix Corp. v. Director, Div. of Taxation, 125 N. J. 20, 38, 592 A. 2d 536, 545 (1991). We will, "if reasonably possible, defer to the judgment of state courts in deciding whether a particular set of activities constitutes a 'unitary business.' " Container Corp., supra,Page: Index Previous 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 Next
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