Personal Property Tax

County Bulletin

TO: ALL COUNTY AUDITORS - Bulletin No. 126

FROM: Stanley J. Bowers, Tax Commissioner

DATE: August 7, 1958

RE: Taxable Status of Personal Property in the Possession of Private Contractors but Belonging to the Federal Government.

Under date of March 3, 1958, the Supreme Court of the United States in the case of City of Detroit v. The Murray Corporation of America, 355 U.S. 489 determined that the corporation was liable for personal property taxes on personal property in its possession but belonging to the Federal Government under the title vesting provisions of a contract between the Federal Government and the corporation.

Subsequent to this decision we requested the opinion of the Attorney General as to whether or not we could assess comparable personal property located in this state in the possession of private contractors.

In response to our request the Attorney General, under date of July 30, 1958, rendered his opinion, No. 2471, wherein he concluded that existing provisions of the Ohio personal property tax law could not be construed as imposing either a possessory or privilege type tax such as was involved and approved in the Murray Corporation case. Accordingly, he determined that personal property taxes could not be assessed against persons in possession of government property.