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.