Alltel Communications, Inc. v. South Carolina Department of Revenue (Lawyers Weekly No. 010-078-12, 8 pp.) (John W. Kittredge, J.) Appealed from Richland County (Marvin F. Kittrell, Ch. ALJ) On writ of certiorari to the Court of Appeals. S.C. S. Ct. Full-text opinion.
Holding: S.C. Code Ann. § 12-20-100 imposes higher license fees on certain companies, including every “telephone company.” Since the statute does not define “telephone company”, it is ambiguous. We construe the ambiguity in favor of the petitioner-taxpayers – cellular telephone service providers – and rule that the statute does not apply to petitioners.
We reverse the Court of Appeals and reinstate the Administrative Law Court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of petitioners.