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Emanuel Lutheran Charity Board v. Department of Revenue

October 27, 1972

EMANUEL LUTHERAN CHARITY BOARD, APPELLANT,
v.
DEPARTMENT OF REVENUE, RESPONDENT



Appeal from the Oregon Tax Court. Carlisle B. Roberts, Judge.

Chester E. McCarty, Portland, argued the cause for appellant. On the briefs were McCarty & Swindells and Robert E. Nelson.

Theodore W. deLooze, Chief Tax Counsel, Salem, argued the cause for respondent. With him on the brief were Lee Johnson, Attorney General, and Donald C. Seymour, Assistant Attorney General.

McAllister, Justice. O'Connell, Chief Justice, and Denecke, Holman, Tongue and Bryson, Justices.

Mcallister

The plaintiff, Emanuel Lutheran Charity Board, operates Emanuel Hospital in Portland. Plaintiff acquired certain real property for use in expanding its hospital facilities and claimed the property was exempt from taxation for the 1968-1969 tax year. The Department of Revenue ruled that the property was not exempt, the Tax Court affirmed, and plaintiff has appealed to this court. We affirm.

Most of the facts are stipulated. Emanuel is a general hospital which also provides teaching and research services. As early as 1957 plaintiff began

acquiring real property in the vicinity of its hospital and in 1967 adopted a long-range master plan for future expansion. Pursuant to the master plan plaintiff intended to use the real property involved in this case for an addition to its main hospital, an extended care facility, a self-care unit, an auditorium, and an employees' apartment building. The Department of Revenue concedes that when these buildings are constructed they will be tax exempt.*fn1 On January 1, 1968, the assessment date, the property involved here was vacant awaiting future use, but no construction had begun.

The controlling statute is ORS 307.130, which reads in pertinent part as follows:

"Upon compliance with ORS 307.162 [filing claim for exemption], the following property owned or being purchased by incorporated literary, benevolent, charitable and scientific institutions shall be exempt from taxation:

"(1) * * * only such real or personal property, or proportion thereof, as is actually and exclusively occupied or used in the literary, benevolent, charitable or scientific work carried on by such institutions."

The simple issue is whether the property on the assessment date was "actually and exclusively occupied or used" by Emanuel in the benevolent and charitable work carried on by it.

Plaintiff relies on Willamette Univ. v. Tax Comm., 245 Or 342, 422 P2d 260 (1966), in which this court construed ORS 307.130 to allow an exemption for a ...


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