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Monday, July 30, 2007

Will Ikea pay property taxes?

A reader points out that Ikea is sitting on land leased to it by the Port of Portland. Is there some mechanism whereby the store will pay property taxes, directly or indirectly? Or will it have freedom from taxes as an advantage over its taxpaying competitors?

Comments (15)

Why are you trying to drive up the cost of my new couch?


For what it's worth, the fifth paragraph in this PDC document states that IKEA will pay significant property taxes.

i would assume it just depends on how the lease is structured. in that sense, they don't have any particular edge over any other business that leases their space.

Is the issue that the PoP is exempt from property taxes on the property it holds? If so, how does that work when, say, it rents out offices in the building it owns in Portland? I'm totally ignorant about this. Maybe there's some mechanism like the income tax's URBIT for exempt entities? Or maybe the PoP could pull a Portland General and collect taxes under its lease, but then keep the money and not remit it to the taxing entity?

How would the lease terms affect this? If the Port owns the land, how does it become taxable? Maybe Ikea will pay tax on the value of their building only?

Real property is taxable when owned by tax exempt entities (such as a governmental agency) BUT used for private purposes. It is USE not OWNERSHIP that prevails in these situations. Both the land and the improvements would be taxable. In the case of use of part of a building and/or part of land area, a proportionate share of the property would be taxable. The Port would have had the obligation to notify Multnomah County when the leased was signed, and to deliver a copy of the lease to the County Tax Assessor. Of course, if by chance the lease was recorded with the County, the Tax Assessor would have been notified by the fact of that recording.

The valuation of the land would be interesting. Has it ever been sold in an arm's length deal? Maybe a long time ago...

If they are doing a land lease Like McD or Burger King, they usually pay on the improvements part of the prop tax.

I assume PoP doesn't pay prop taxes on land? I don't know PoP's tax status.

Don't be too confident in the ability of the MultCo Dept of Assessment & Taxation to "dig too deep" when the use of formerly exempt property changes and becomes taxable. There isn't, or, apparently, wasn't, any mechanism for cross-checking from permits or licenses 3-4 years ago when I discovered that a a fully taxable funeral home, which had been built on the property-tax-exempt cemetery land, (in your neighborhood, Jack) wasn't being taxed. Only my tip led the county, 9 years after the fact, to put the "new" business on the property tax rolls.

I seem to remember that the POP transferred development rights to all property in that area to Bechtel or some other megacorp in exchange for building the light rail extension to the airport. That way the extension was "free" or at least according to Mike Thorne, the POP bighead at the time.

"IKEA will pay significant property taxes"


That's that mean? Heck, they could have a huge exemption and still pay "significant" taxes.

What's that mean?

The land that IKEA is on and that whole Cascade Station was part of a "trade" with Bechtel corp for Redline MAX. Not sure how that factors in to this discussion, but wanted to see if anyone else has insight.

For what it's worth, the fifth paragraph in this PDC document states that IKEA will pay significant property taxes.

Right...because the PDC is usually so honest with the public...

"Right...because the PDC is usually so honest with the public..."

Exactly and they couldn't be anymore clear than "significant"?
They could have said IKEA will pay routine or normal or regular property taxes.

The only possible reason they did not is that they did not want the public to know of the significantly reduced property taxes IKEA will pay.

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