Assessment of Property for Taxation

ORS 308.805
Mutual and cooperative electric distribution systems subject to tax on gross earnings


Every association of persons, wholly mutual or cooperative in character, whether incorporated or unincorporated, the principal business of which is the construction, maintenance and operation of an electric transmission and distribution system for the benefit of the members of such association without intent to produce profit in money and which has no other principal business or purpose shall, in lieu of all other taxes on the transmission and distribution lines, pay a tax on all gross revenue derived from the use or operation of transmission and distribution lines (exclusive of revenues from the leasing of lines to governmental agencies) at the rates prescribed by ORS 308.807 (Amount of tax). The tax shall not apply to or be in lieu of ad valorem taxation on any property, real or personal, which is not part of the transmission and distribution lines of such association.


The Department of Revenue, pursuant to ORS 308.505 (Definitions for ORS 308.505 to 308.674) to 308.674 (Exemption equal to difference between real market value of company’s centrally assessable property and 130 percent of cost of company’s centrally assessable real and tangible personal property), shall assess for ad valorem taxation all the real and personal property of such associations which is not a part of “transmission and distribution lines,” as defined in subsection (3) of this section. All other property subject to ad valorem taxation shall be assessed in the manner otherwise provided by law, by the assessor of the county in which such property has a tax situs.


As used in ORS 308.805 (Mutual and cooperative electric distribution systems subject to tax on gross earnings) to 308.820 (Tax as a lien):


“Transmission and distribution lines” shall include all property that is energized or capable of being energized or intended to be energized, or that supports or is integrated with such property. This includes, but is not limited to, substation equipment, fixtures and framework, poles and the fixtures thereon, conductors, transformers, services, meters, street lighting equipment, easements for rights of way, generating equipment, communication equipment, transmission lines leased to governmental agencies, construction tools, materials and supplies, office furniture and fixtures and office equipment. This shall not include such property as parcels of land, buildings, and merchandise held for resale.


“Wire mile” means a single conductor one mile long installed in a line, but not including service drops. [Amended by 1957 c.637 §1; 1959 c.109 §4; 1969 c.492 §1]

Notes of Decisions

Taxpayer's collection of funds which were set aside for contingent liability which did not arise and which were subsequently returned to patrons was "revenue" under this section and should have been included in taxpayer's gross revenue for period. Lane Electric Cooperative v. Dept. of Rev., 10 OTR 501 (1987)

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. 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)


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Jun. 26, 2021