Willamette Estates II, LLC v. Dept. of Revenue

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Supreme Court
  • Area(s) of Law: Tax Law
  • Date Filed: 04-09-2015
  • Case #: S062027
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Landau, J. for the Court; En Banc.
  • Full Text Opinion

Under OAR 150-306.115, an assessor may petition DOR to correct a discrepancy in the tax rolls. Further, while taxpayer was allowed to challenge the value of component parts of property separately, that does not limit DOR’s authority to correct errors in the tax rolls.

Willamette Estates II, LLC, (Taxpayer) owns an apartment complex that was assessed in 2008 for a real market value (RMV) of $1,002,840 on the land, and $14,784,740 on the improvements for a total RMV of $15,787,580. Taxpayer appealed the value of the land, but after a finding that the land was worth $5,000,000, the original land RMV remained on the tax rolls. Marion County Assessor, in a separate proceeding, petitioned the Department of Revenue (DOR) to correct this discrepancy. Taxpayer appealed this action in the Magistrate Division, then the Regular Division of the Tax Court, both of which affirmed. On appeal to the Supreme Court, Taxpayer argued that the Tax Court impermissibly allowed the assessor to appeal his own decision, and that the effect of this action was to allow “impermissible value shifting.” The Court rejected both of Taxpayer’s arguments, finding that OAR 150-306.115 specifically allows an assessor to petition DOR, and that the statutory appeal process at the time allowed a taxpayer to challenge the valuation of component parts of property value, but still did not limit DOR’s authority to correct errors in the tax rolls. Affirmed.

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