TO: ALL COUNTY AUDITORS - Bulletin No. 244
FROM: Edgar L. Lindley, Tax Commissioner
DATE: March 8, 1976
RE: Personal Property Taxation of Foreign Imports
A recent decision of the United States Supreme Court has
drastically changed the applicability of the Ohio personal
property tax to property imported from foreign sources.
In Michelin Tire
Corp. v. Wages, Tax Commissioner,
et al., January 14, 1976, 96 S. Ct. 535, 46 L. Ed. 2d
495, the United States Supreme Court held that
personal property imported from a foreign source is subject
to a state's non-discriminatory ad valorem (property) tax in
the same manner as domestic property.
Prior to this decision foreign imports were considered immune
from state and local property taxes so long as they had not
become a part of the mass of general property within a state.
Previously, the determining factors were whether such
property was still in the original package in which it was
imported or, in the case of goods imported for use in
manufacturing, whether such property was necessary to meet
the current operational needs of the importer.
As the result of the Michelin decision, all
property imported from a foreign source, whether it be for
resale or for use in manufacturing, is subject to the Ohio
personal property tax provided:
1.) the property is used in business as provided by
Section 5701.08, Ohio Revised Code, and
2.) the property is no longer in transit in interstate or
foreign commerce, and
3.) the property has a situs in a taxing district in Ohio
All personal property tax returns for the years 1976 and
thereafter shall be prepared and filed in accord with these