Payments to counties in lieu of taxes
(1) Except as provided in subsection (3) of this section, whenever real property owned by the State Fish and Wildlife Commission is exempt from taxation on January 1 of any year by reason of its ownership by the state, the commission shall pay to the county in which the property is situated an amount equal to the ad valorem taxes that would have been charged against the property if it had been assessed to a taxable owner as of January 1 of such year as provided in subsection (2) of this section. The county assessor shall determine the value of such property and shall notify the commission of the determination of the county assessor. Upon request of the commission, the Department of Revenue shall review the determination of value and shall redetermine the value if it concludes the value initially determined was substantially incorrect.
(2)(a) Except as provided in paragraph (b) or (c) of this subsection, the value of the property shall be computed at its assessed value under ORS 308A.107 (Value for farm use) or for forestland use, whichever is applicable.
(b) Paragraph (a) of this subsection shall not apply to any property upon which open field burning takes place. If open field burning takes place on any property described in this section, the property shall be valued at its highest and best use rather than the values authorized in paragraph (a) of this subsection on the January 1 following the date of the open field burning. If in the next year, the open field burning is discontinued, paragraph (a) of this subsection shall apply the next January 1 and each year thereafter as long as no open field burning occurs.
(c) Paragraph (a) of this subsection shall not apply to any property acquired by the commission after September 9, 1971, if such property was valued under farm use or forestland use special assessment provisions, at the time the property was acquired by the commission. However, no payments in lieu of taxes made to a county pursuant to this section prior to January 1, 1974, shall be refunded to the commission.
(3) This section does not apply to real property used for bird farms, fish hatcheries, office quarters, fishing access sites or impoundments, capital improvements or real property acquired pursuant to the Act of May 19, 1948 (62 Stat. 240), Public Law 80-537.
(4) The amount prescribed in subsection (1) of this section shall be determined annually by the assessor of the county in which the property is situated and certified by the assessor to the county court or the board of county commissioners. A notice of the determination, signed by the county judge or the chairperson of the board of county commissioners, shall be mailed to the principal office of the commission not later than October 15. The notice shall contain a statement of the value of the property and a complete explanation of the method used in computing the amount claimed pursuant to subsection (1) of this section. Not later than November 15, the commission shall pay each amount, less a discount equivalent to that which is provided in ORS 311.505 (Due dates). Payment shall be made to the county treasurer, who shall distribute the payment to the taxing districts of the county in accordance with the schedule of percentages computed under ORS 311.390 (Tax and interest distribution percentage schedule).
(5) Notwithstanding any other provision of the wildlife laws, the commission shall make the payments to counties required by this section annually from the moneys in the State Wildlife Fund established by ORS 496.300 (State Wildlife Fund). [Amended by 1955 c.729 §1; 1971 c.356 §1; 1971 c.474 §1; 1973 c.723 §16; 1991 c.459 §420; 1997 c.541 §441; 1999 c.314 §73; 2005 c.755 §46]
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