ORS 308.510¹
"Property" defined
  • real and personal property classified

(1) "Property," as used in ORS 308.505 (Definitions for ORS 308.505 to 308.665) to 308.665 (Railroad car exemption), includes all property, real and personal, tangible and intangible, used or held by a company as owner, occupant, lessee or otherwise, for or in use in the performance or maintenance of a business or service or in a sale of any commodity, as set forth in ORS 308.515 (Department to make annual assessment of designated utilities and companies), whether or not such activity is pursuant to any franchise, and includes but is not limited to the lands and buildings, rights of way, roadbed, water powers, vehicles, cars, rolling stock, tracks, wagons, horses, office furniture, telegraph, telephone and transmission lines, poles, wires, conduits, switchboards, machinery, appliances, appurtenances, docks, watercraft irrespective of the place of registry or enrollment, merchandise, inventories, tools, equipment, machinery, franchises and special franchises, work in progress and all other goods or chattels. "Property" does not include items of intangible property that represent claims on other property including money at interest, bonds, notes, claims, demands and all other evidences of indebtedness, secured or unsecured, including notes, bonds or certificates secured by mortgages, and all shares of stock in corporations, joint stock companies or associations.

(2) All land of any railroad, logging road, electric rail or trackless transportation company, or railroad switching and terminal company, including land used or held and claimed exclusively as right of way, with all the tracks and substructures and superstructures that support the same, together with all sidetracks, second tracks, turnouts, station houses, depots, roundhouses, engine houses, machine shops, buildings or other structures, without separating same into lands and improvements, is real property and the rolling stock and all other property is personal property.

(3) Without especially defining and enumerating the treatment, the Department of Revenue shall treat all land of any company as real property, and except as provided in subsection (2) of this section, all docks, hangars, landing fields, exchanges, office buildings, bridges, power plants, dams, reservoirs, substations, relay stations, telegraph, telephone or transmission and distribution lines located upon property owned by the company, and all other buildings, structures, improvements or fixtures of a permanent character thereon, as real property, and all other property as personal property.

(4)(a) Except as provided in ORS 308.517 (To whom property assessed) (2) and in paragraphs (b) and (c) of this subsection, the renting, leasing, chartering or otherwise assigning of property exclusively for the use or benefit of another shall not constitute a use by the lessor.

(b) A lessor shall be deemed the user of property rented, leased or otherwise furnished by it to its employee as an incident of employment.

(c) A rail transportation company shall be deemed the user of property situated within its station ground reservations or rights of way notwithstanding the fact that such property may be leased, rented or otherwise assigned by it for the use or benefit of another.

(5) Property found by the department to have an integrated use for or in more than one business, service or sale, where at least one such business, service or sale is one enumerated in ORS 308.515 (Department to make annual assessment of designated utilities and companies), shall be classified by the department as being within or without the definition of property under subsection (1) of this section, according to the primary use of such property, as determined by the department.

(6) For purposes of determining the maximum assessed value of property under section 11, Article XI of the Oregon Constitution, "property" means all property assessed to each company that is subject to assessment under ORS 308.505 (Definitions for ORS 308.505 to 308.665) to 308.665 (Railroad car exemption). [Amended by 1957 c.711 §2; 1977 c.602 §2; 1997 c.154 §32; 1997 c.541 §203; 2003 c.46 §18]

Notes of Decisions

The method used by the Depart­ment of Revenue to determine the assess­ment value of the taxpayers' flatcars, which method took into account the "going concern" value attributable to the prop­erty, was within the require­ments of ORS 308.550 (Valuing property of company operating both within and without state). Trailer Train Co. v. Dept. of Rev., 5 OTR 170 (1973)

Where uncompleted plans and specifica­tions for nuclear and coal-fired generating plants of public utility were in ownership and control of out-of-state engineering firm preparing them, though plaintiff had unliquidated claim for damages if plans were not delivered, the claim did not have situs in state and was not used for plaintiff's business as of assess­ment date. Portland Gen. Elec. Co. v. Dept. of Rev., 7 OTR 33 (1977)

A prop­erty connec­tion between corpora­tions is shown by the right of one company to control the opera­tions of the other company, and where Southern Pacific exerted executive control of Cottonbelt's marketing, financing, manage­ment, opera­tions and labor, Southern Pacific was the owner of Cottonbelt for purposes of these sec­tions. Southern Pacific Trans. Co. v. Dept. of Revenue, 295 Or 47, 664 P2d 401 (1983)

Plaintiff's use of wa­ter power constituted use of prop­erty subject to taxa­tion and must be added to value of plaintiff's hydroelectric facility. Joseph Hydro Associates v. Dept. of Rev., 11 OTR 49 (1988)

In determining value of small hydroelectric plant, reasonable basis of comparisons and analysis is actual rather than projected produc­tion. Falls Creek H.P. Ltd. Partnership v. Dept. of Rev., 12 OTR 55 (1991)

To be user of prop­erty taxpayer must have some de­gree of control, but not necessarily absolute control, over prop­erty at issue. Pacificorp Power Marketing v. Dept. of Revenue, 340 Or 204, 131 P3d 725 (2006)

Notes of Decisions

The wa­ter system in a planned unit develop­ment was properly assessed by the Depart­ment of Revenue as having value for which taxes should have been assessed. Brooks Resources v. Dept. of Rev., 276 Or 1177, 538 P2d 312 (1976)

In valuing a railroad, the weight to be given each approach customarily used (cost, stock and debt, and income) and the varia­tion among appraisers in the minutiae of their methods, if in dispute, are left to the court to consider. Burlington Northern v. Dept. of Rev., 8 OTR 19 (1979), as modified by 291 Or 729, 635 P2d 347

Land infested with tansy ragwort and therefore not used to obtain a profit was properly disqualified for special assess­ment at true cash value for farm use. Shepherd v. Dept. of Rev., 8 OTR 122 (1979)

While it is allowable to use only one approach in valuing prop­erty, whether in any given assess­ment one approach should be used exclusive of the others or is preferable to an­oth­er or to combina­tion of approaches is ques­tion of fact to be determined by the court. Pacific Power and Light Co. v. Dept. of Rev., 286 Or 529, 596 P2d 912 (1979)

Central assess­ment statutes create excep­tion to public prop­erty tax exemp­tion out­lined in ORS 307.090 (Property of the state, counties and other municipal corporations). Pacificorp Power Marketing v. Dept. of Revenue, 340 Or 204, 131 P3d 725 (2006)

Law Review Cita­tions

26 WLR 714 (1990)

Chapter 308

Notes of Decisions

Programs administered by Depart­ment of Revenue that allow preferential assess­ment for farm and forestland are not "programs affecting land use" and are not subject to require­ment of statewide goal and local comprehensive plan compliance under ORS 197.180 (State agency planning responsibilities). Springer v. LCDC, 111 Or App 262, 826 P2d 54 (1992), Sup Ct review denied

Atty. Gen. Opinions

Applica­tion of Article XI, sec­tion 11b of Oregon Constitu­tion to this chapter, (1990) Vol 46, p 388

Law Review Cita­tions

5 EL 516 (1975)

1 Legislative Counsel Committee, CHAPTER 308—Assessment of Property for Taxation, https://­www.­oregonlegislature.­gov/­bills_laws/­Archive/­2007ors308.­pdf (2007) (last ac­cessed Feb. 12, 2009).
2 Legislative Counsel Committee, Annotations to the Oregon Revised Stat­utes, Cumulative Supplement - 2007, Chapter 308, https://­www.­oregonlegislature.­gov/­bills_laws/­ors/­308ano.­htm (2007) (last ac­cessed Feb. 12, 2009).
3 OregonLaws.org assembles these lists by analyzing references between Sections. Each listed item refers back to the current Section in its own text. The result reveals relationships in the code that may not have otherwise been apparent. Currency Information