2015 ORS 308.505¹
Definitions for ORS 308.505 to 308.681

As used in ORS 308.505 (Definitions for ORS 308.505 to 308.681) to 308.681 (Annual report to legislature on ORS 308.677):

(1) "Car" or "railcar" means a vehicle adapted to the rails of a railroad.

(2) "Centrally assessed" means the assessment of property by the Department of Revenue under ORS 308.505 (Definitions for ORS 308.505 to 308.681) to 308.681 (Annual report to legislature on ORS 308.677).

(3) "Communication" includes telephone communication and data transmission services by whatever means provided.

(4) "Data center" means an online service data center or an independent data center.

(5) "Data transmission services" does not include providing electronic mail accounts or search engine services solely by means of contractual agreement with another company that owns the transmission property if providing such accounts or services are the only data transmission services provided by the company in Oregon.

(6) "Historical or original cost" means all costs incurred by a company in placing property in service for the property’s intended use by the company, including, but not limited to, purchase price, freight, engineering fees, legal fees, materials, labor, overhead, taxes, interest, entrepreneurial profit and other fees, expenses and charges related to construction or installation.

(7) "Independent data center" means real and personal property consisting of buildings or structures specifically designed or modified to house networked computers and data and transaction processing equipment and related infrastructure support equipment, including, without limitation, power and cooling equipment, used primarily to provide, as a service to persons other than the company operating the independent data center, data and transaction processing services, outsource information technology services and computer equipment colocation services. For purposes of this subsection, the primary use of property is based on the relative proportion of the original cost of property used for all purposes.

(8) "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.

(9) "Interstate" means transit between the State of Oregon and:

(a) Another state;

(b) A district, territory or possession of the United States; or

(c) A foreign country.

(10) "Large private railcar company" means a private railcar company with personal property with a real market value for the tax year that exceeds $1 million.

(11) "Locally assessed" means the assessment of property for property tax purposes by the county assessor that is not conducted under ORS 308.505 (Definitions for ORS 308.505 to 308.681) to 308.681 (Annual report to legislature on ORS 308.677).

(12) "Online service data center" means real and personal property consisting of buildings or structures specifically designed or modified to house networked computers and data and transaction processing equipment and related infrastructure support equipment, including, without limitation, power and cooling equipment, used primarily to provide, to a single user, including the user’s affiliates, customers, lessees, vendors and other persons authorized by the user, data and transaction processing services. For purposes of this subsection, the primary use of property is based on the relative proportion of the original cost of property used for all purposes.

(13) "Person," "company," "corporation" or "association" means any person, group of persons, whether organized or unorganized, firm, joint stock company, association, cooperative or mutual organization, people’s utility district, joint operating agency as defined in ORS 262.005 (Definitions for ORS 262.015 to 262.105), syndicate, entity formed to partner or combine public and private interests, partnership or corporation engaged in performing or maintaining any business or service or in selling any commodity as set forth in ORS 308.515 (Department to make annual assessment of designated utilities and companies), whether or not the activity is pursuant to any franchise and whether or not the person or other entity or combination of entities possesses characteristics of limited or unlimited liability.

(14) "Property":

(a) Means all property of any kind, whether real, personal, tangible or intangible, that is used or held by a company as owner, occupant, lessee or otherwise, for the performance or maintenance of a business or service or for the sale of a commodity, as described in ORS 308.515 (Department to make annual assessment of designated utilities and companies);

(b) Includes, but is not limited to, the lands and buildings, rights of way, roadbed, water powers, vehicles, cars, rolling stock, tracks, office furniture, 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; and

(c) Does not include items of intangible property that represent:

(A) Claims on other property, including money at interest, bonds, notes, claims, demands or any other evidence of indebtedness, secured or unsecured; or

(B) Any shares of stock in corporations, joint stock companies or associations.

(15) "Property having situs in this state" means all property, real and personal, of a company, owned, leased, used, operated or occupied by it and situated wholly within this state, and, as determined under ORS 308.550 (Valuing property of company operating both within and without state) and 308.640 (Assessment and taxation of personal property of small private railcar companies), the proportion of the movable, transitory or migratory personal property owned, leased, used, operated or occupied by a company, including but not limited to watercraft, aircraft, rolling stock, vehicles and construction equipment, as is used partly within and partly outside of this state.

(16) "Small private railcar company" means a private railcar company with personal property with a real market value for the tax year that does not exceed $1 million.

(17) "Transportation" means carrying, conveying or moving passengers or property from one place to another.

(18) "Vehicle" means any wheeled or tracked device used in transportation under, on or in connection with the physical surface of the earth. [Amended by 1957 c.711 §1; 1969 c.12 §2; 1973 c.102 §1; 1973 c.722 §12; 1977 c.888 §38; 1997 c.154 §31; 2005 c.94 §52; 2009 c.128 §3; 2015 c.23 §9]

Notes of Decisions

Defini­tions for "per­son" and "corpora­tion" include municipal corpora­tions. P.U.D. No. 1 of Snohomish County v. Dept. of Revenue, 17 OTR 290 (2004)

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)

"Data transmission services" as used in this sec­tion means services that provide means of any sort to send data regardless of origin between computers or computer-like devices in coded electronic form. Comcast Corpora­tion v. Dept. of Revenue, 356 Or 282, 337 P3d 768 (2014)

Internet services and cable television services that facilitate transmission of electronically coded in­for­ma­­tion between computers or computer-like devices are "data transmission services" as used in this sec­tion. Comcast Corpora­tion v. Dept. of Revenue, 356 Or 282, 337 P3d 768 (2014)

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 (1981)

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/­ors/­ors308.­html (2015) (last ac­cessed Jul. 16, 2016).
 
2 Legislative Counsel Committee, Annotations to the Oregon Revised Stat­utes, Cumulative Supplement - 2015, Chapter 308, https://­www.­oregonlegislature.­gov/­bills_laws/­ors/­ano308.­html (2015) (last ac­cessed Jul. 16, 2016).
 
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.