Taxation of Property Associated with Mining Claims on Federal Land
A mining claim filed with the United States Bureau of Land Management (BLM) conveys a right of possession and right to extract minerals under conditions set forth by those agencies. BLM issues an identification number to recognize unpatented mining claims.
An unpatented mining claim allows the claimant limited use of land owned by the United States government.
All rights and interests associated with an unpatented mining claim, including but not limited to the right to possess, use, or access the land, are exempt from property tax.
Improvements, machinery and buildings on an unpatented mining claim are subject to property tax.
Annual filing fees, maintenance payment fees, maintenance payment fee waiver certification (small miner’s waiver), a notice of intent to hold, or assessment work notices (proof of labor) are also exempt from property tax unless such labor or fees increase the real market value of taxable improvements to the property.
Except as otherwise specifically provided, all taxable personal property must be reported for taxation in the county where it is located (situs) as of 1:00 am on the first day of January each year.Example 1: A taxpayer resides in County A and has a mining claim in County B. The mining equipment is kept at taxpayer’s residence when not in use on the claim during the winter months. It is located in the taxpayer’s garage on January 1st at 1:00 am. The taxpayer must report the mining equipment in County A.
The assessor will provide a Confidential Personal Property Return for purposes of reporting taxable personal property. The return is due in the office of the assessor by March 1 each year.
Personal property may be assessed in the name of the owner or of any person having possession or control of the property.
The assessor must cancel the personal property assessment for any taxpayer whose taxable personal property in the county has a total assessed value (AV) below a threshold value. The Department of Revenue re-computes the threshold value annually under ORS 308.250 (Valuation and assessment of personal property)(4). Canceling the assessed tax in one year does not relieve the taxpayer from the annual filing requirement for any other tax year.Example 2: A taxpayer garages movable machinery used on a mining claim at her residence in County A but leaves tools and small equipment in a shed at the mining claim located in County B. The value of taxable personal property in County A on January 1 is $12,000 and the value of taxable personal property in County B is $1,600. The taxpayer must report the personal property in both County A and County B. The Department calculated the threshold value at $13,000 for this assessment year. The assessor in each county will cancel the tax owing for the year since the value of the property in the assessor’s respective county is under the threshold value.