ORS 308.515¹
Department to make annual assessment of designated utilities and companies

(1) The Department of Revenue shall make an annual assessment of any property that has a situs in this state and that, except as provided in subsection (3) of this section, is used or held for future use by any company in performing or maintaining any of the following businesses or services or in selling any of the following commodities, whether in domestic or interstate commerce or both, and whether mutually, or for hire, sale or consumption by other persons:

(a) Railroad transportation;

(b) Railroad switching and terminal;

(c) Electric rail and trackless trolley transportation;

(d) Private railcar transportation;

(e) Air transportation;

(f) Water transportation upon inland water of the State of Oregon;

(g) Air or railway express;

(h) Communication;

(i) Heating;

(j) Gas;

(k) Electricity;

(L) Pipeline;

(m) Toll bridge; or

(n) Private railcars of all companies not otherwise listed in this subsection, if the private railcars are rented, leased or used in railroad transportation for hire.

(2) The assessment described in subsection (1) of this section shall be made on an assessment roll that is prepared by the division of the department charged with property tax administration.

(3) There may not be assessed under subsection (1) of this section:

(a) Any property used by or for water transportation companies whose watercraft ply exclusively on the high seas, or between the high seas and inland water ports or terminals, or any combination thereof.

(b) Any property used by or for water transportation companies exclusively for hire by other persons for booming and rafting, dredging, log or marine salvage, ship berthing, maintenance, sludge removal, cleaning or repair, marine or water-based construction, or guide service.

(c) Any property used by or for interstate ferries or by or for water transportation companies as ferries operating directly across interstate rivers.

(d) Any property of the National Railroad Passenger Corporation as long as federal law prohibits the National Railroad Passenger Corporation from paying property taxes.

(e) Any aircraft that is required to be registered under ORS 837.040 (Persons required to register aircraft) for all or any part of the calendar year, and that is not used to provide scheduled passenger service.

(4) For the purposes of this section, ORS 308.256 (Assessment, taxation and exemption of watercraft and materials of shipyards, ship repair facilities and offshore drilling rigs) and 308.550 (Valuing property of company operating both within and without state), "inland water" means all water or waters within the State of Oregon, all interstate rivers touching Oregon and all tidewaters extending to the ocean bars.

(5) Any corporation included within subsection (1) of this section, to the extent that it actively engages in any business or service not described therein or not incidental to any business or service or sale of a commodity described therein, may not to that extent be deemed a corporation whose properties are assessed under ORS 308.505 (Definitions for ORS 308.505 to 308.665) to 308.665 (Railroad car exemption).

(6) Any company, to the extent that it furnishes undiluted liquefied or industrial gas in bottles, tanks or similar containers, whether or not through pipe in a gaseous form, is not a gas company under subsection (1) of this section.

(7) A company is not an electric company under subsection (1) of this section if:

(a) The company generates electricity primarily for the company’s own use, but makes incidental sales of the company’s surplus electricity; or

(b)(A) The company’s generating facility is primarily fueled by wood waste or other biomass fuel;

(B) The generating facility has a maximum capacity of 20 megawatts; and

(C) The company, if selling the generated electricity, does so only directly to an electric utility for the utility’s distribution to utility customers.

(8) ORS 308.505 (Definitions for ORS 308.505 to 308.665) to 308.665 (Railroad car exemption) shall be construed to subject property owned, leased or occupied by a legal entity not yet engaged in a business, service or sale of a commodity that is described in this section, to assessment by the department, if the property is intended for operation or use in the business, service or sale of a commodity.

(9) As used in this section, "electric utility" has the meaning given that term in ORS 758.505 (Definitions for ORS 758.505 to 758.555). [Amended by 1955 c.735 §1; 1957 c.711 §3; 1959 c.109 §1; 1965 c.175 §1; 1973 c.102 §2; 1973 c.402 §8; 1981 c.623 §4; 1983 c.600 §1; 1987 c.601 §1; 1995 c.256 §1; 1997 c.154 §33; 1997 c.656 §2; 1999 c.223 §1; 2005 c.94 §53]

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)

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)

Where parties offered income and stock and debt approach to value in dispute over ad valorem taxes for five years, court rejected plaintiff's use of 5-year average of net railway operating income as estimate of net cash flow and found defendant's stock and debt approach more reliable but reduced defendant's value to account for nonrail assets. Southern Pacific Trans. Co. v. Dept. of Rev., 11 OTR 138 (1989)

Where Tax Court determined utility's true cash value for purpose of ad valorem tax assess­ment and incorrectly applied cost approach to valua­tion, value increased. PP&L v. Dept. of Rev., 308 Or 49, 775 P2d 303 (1989)

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)

Where primary use of facility was generating electricity for sale to power companies, fact that first priority of facility was supplying steam to adjacent commonly owned lumber mill did not make central assess­ment of facility as utility prop­erty improper. D.R. Johnson Lumber Co. v. Dept. of Rev., 12 OTR 429 (1993), aff'd318 Or 330, 866 P2d 1227 (1994)

Where tour boat was restricted to operating in nonocean wa­ters, pay­ment of Ocean Charter Vessel License fee did not exempt vessel from assess­ment as wa­ter transporta­tion prop­erty. Swashbuckler, Inc. v. Dept. of Rev., 12 OTR 476 (1993)

Assess­ment of railroad cars while exempting certain classes of non-railroad prop­erty did not violate federal law prohibiting discriminatory taxa­tion of railroads. Dept. of Rev. of Oregon v. ACF Industries, Inc., 510 U.S. 332, 114 S Ct 843, 127 L Ed 2d 165 (1994)

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)

Atty. Gen. Opinions

Ad valorem prop­erty taxa­tion on maritime cargo containers, (1979) Vol 39, p 494

Law Review Cita­tions

26 WLR 711, 734 (1990)

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