Property Subject to Taxation

ORS 307.090
Property of the state, counties and other municipal corporations

  • payments in lieu of taxes on city-owned electric utility property


Except as provided by law, all property of the state and all public or corporate property used or intended for corporate purposes of the several counties, cities, towns, school districts, irrigation districts, drainage districts, ports, water districts, housing authorities, public universities listed in ORS 352.002 (Public universities) and all other public or municipal corporations in this state, is exempt from taxation.


Any city may agree with any school district to make payments in lieu of taxes on all property of the city located in any such school district, and which is exempt from taxation under subsection (1) of this section when such property is outside the boundaries of the city and owned, used or operated for the production, transmission, distribution or furnishing of electric power or energy or electric service for or to the public. [Amended by 1953 c.698 §7; 1957 c.649 §1; 1975 c.568 §1; 1977 c.673 §1; 1991 c.851 §2; 2005 c.832 §1; 2009 c.804 §1; 2013 c.768 §125]

Notes of Decisions

City did not have incidents of ownership in water system which would justify exemption from tax under this section. White City Water System v. Dept. of Rev., 7 OTR 274 (1977), aff'd 285 Or 255, 590 P2d 724 (1979)

Nonprofit corporation organized to provide financing for rehabilitation and expansion of water system to be operated by city was not entitled to exemption under this section, because exemption is available only for property actually owned by city. White City Water System v. Dept. of Rev., 285 Or 255, 590 P2d 724 (1979)

Dry boat storage building built over 300 feet from water and leased to taxable individuals was not exempted from taxation under "berthing" of watercraft exemption in ORS 307.120. Port of Coos Bay v. Dept. of Rev., 298 Or 229, 691 P2d 100 (1984)

Where plaintiff had legal ownership of subject property but district had sole equitable ownership, District's ownership satisfied requirement of this statute and property was exempt for 1987-88 tax year. Tillamook Community Foundation v. Dept. of Rev., 11 OTR 130 (1989)

Where port was obligated under purchase contract to protect and store equipment without charge to buyer, buyer had not paid full purchase price and equipment was not in immediately useable condition, ownership had not passed to buyer. Kaiser International Corp. v. Dept. of Rev., 12 OTR 513 (1993)

"Corporate purposes" of municipality includes any action consistent with municipal charter and not contrary to express or implied law. City of Eugene v. Dept. of Revenue, 15 OTR 1 (1998)

Property belonging to intergovernmental unit partially comprised of people's utility district is not immune from taxation. Western Generation Agency v. Dept. of Revenue, 327 Or 327, 959 P2d 80 (1998)

Property owned by partnership in which public body is general partner does not qualify for exemption as public property. Linn-Benton Housing Authority v. Linn County Assessor, 17 OTR 1 (2003)

Exemption from taxation for various governmental entities "in" this state is limited to governmental entities formed under laws of this state. P.U.D. No. 1 of Snohomish County v. Dept. of Revenue, 17 OTR 290 (2004)

Central assessment statutes (ORS 308.505 to 308.665) create exception to public property tax exemption. Pacificorp Power Marketing v. Dept. of Revenue, 340 Or 204, 131 P3d 725 (2006)

For public corporation to be "in this state", corporation must serve geographic areas located primarily within state. Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission v. Dept. of Revenue, 346 Or 117, 206 P3d 1037 (2009)

Phrase "in this state" modifies types of entities listed, not reference to public or corporate property. Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission v. Dept. of Revenue, 346 Or 117, 206 P3d 1037 (2009)

to Be Considered "Public Corporation," Entity Must Meet Following Four Requirements

be formed for public's benefit or public purpose; be subject to public management or control; be created or authorized by statute; and possess some governmental power or authority. Oregon School Boards Assn. v. Dept. of Revenue, 22 OTR 281 (2016)

Atty. Gen. Opinions

Exemption of real property held by Department of General Services under lease-purchase transaction, (1978) Vol 39, p 335

Chapter 307

Atty. Gen. Opinions

Validity of ad valorem and severance taxation of logs destined for export, (1975) Vol 37, p 427; application of Article XI, section 11b of Oregon Constitution to this chapter, (1990) Vol 46, p 388

Law Review Citations

5 EL 516 (1975)


Last accessed
Jun. 26, 2021