Washington Law Review




Plaintiff, a lessee of state-owned, tax-exempt harbor land, brought an action to recover personal property taxes paid under protest to defendant county Plaintiff contended that defendant county was obliged to follow the long-standing rule that the value of: a leasehold of tax-exempt real property for ad valorem property tax purposes equals its benefits less its burdens, including mortgage indebtedness and rent reserved. The trial.court found for the plaintiff and ordered the leasehold reassessed. The Washington Supreme Court affirmed. The standards used by the defendant county in reassessing the leasehold were then challenged by the plaintiff on substantially the same grounds. The trial court once again found for the plaintiff and the defendant county appealed. The Washington Supreme Court, overruling a line of precedent, reversed. Held: leaseholds of tax-exempt land4 are properly assessed by determinimng their market value using the same standards employed in assessing property generally with no deductions allowed for rent reserved or mortgage indebtedness. Pier 67, Inc., a/k/a Edgewater Inn v. King County, 78 Wash. Dec. 2d 48, 469 P.2d 902 (1970).

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