Appeal from Oregon Tax Court. Carlisle B. Roberts, Judge.
Maurice O. Georges, Portland, argued the cause for appellants. With him on the briefs were Miller, Anderson, Nash, Yerke & Wiener, Portland.
Alfred B. Thomas, Assistant Attorney General, Salem, argued the cause for respondent. With him on the brief were Lee Johnson, Attorney General, and Theodore W. deLooze, Assistant Attorney General, Salem.
This is an appeal by plaintiffs from a judgment of the Oregon Tax Court in favor of defendant Department of Revenue. In disposing of the case below the Tax Court wrote the following opinion which is unpublished:
"Plaintiffs appeal from the Department of Revenue's Opinion and Order No. VL 71-269 which sustained the valuation placed on the 1970-1971 Multnomah County assessment roll for certain real property located in the SE 1/4 of Sec 5, T 1S, R 2E, WM, described as Tax Lots 74 and 248. Of this, $699,000 was attributed to the value of improvements as to which there is no dispute. Plaintiffs pray that this court set aside the department's order and determine that the true cash value of the land only be reduced from $1,297,000 to $668,600 for the 1970-1971 assessment year ($70,800 for Tax Lot 74 and $597,800 for Tax Lot 248).
"The plaintiff Oregon corporation is engaged in the discount department store and supermarket businesses. It operates 15 discount department stores and a substantially greater number of supermarkets. The subject property is land located at the northwest corner of Southeast 82nd Avenue and Division Street, in
Portland. Both 82nd Avenue and Division Street are attractive to retailers because heavily traveled. The two tax lots contain 10.95 acres or 476,982 square feet. The land is improved by the requisite buildings for operating a discount department store, with about two-thirds of the area blacktopped for parking. The property is operated as a unit but parcels are owned variously by the plaintiffs.
"An appraiser for Multnomah County had established the true cash value of the subject property as of January 1, 1970, as a part of his assignment to reappraise all commercial properties on Southeast 82nd Avenue from Southeast Stark Street on the north to the Multnomah County line on the south, except for the east side of 82nd from Stark to Holgate. The assignment was made as a part of the county's plan of continuing reappraisals to obtain uniformity required by ORS 308.234.
"The county's appraiser testified that the highest and best use of the property was 'as improved today or as of January 1, 1970,' without specifying supermarket or discount department store.
"The county's appraiser recognized that properties containing ten acres more or less are no longer available in the area (the exception being the Jacoby property of 9.36 acres). Basically, his determination of value rests upon relatively recent sales of smaller 82nd Avenue properties to purchasers seeking the same property attributes required by the plaintiffs; e.g., a level site with a location on a main thoroughfare with heavy traffic of the right quality, visibility, ease of access, adequate parking, and the like. His unit of valuation, typically used in this type of case, was the square foot. He found that sales data justified a
value range of $2.50 to $2.60 per square foot for property comparable to the 50,607 square feet found by him in Tax Lot 74, and concluded that no reduction was warranted in the assessed value of the land as of January 1, 1970, ...