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AGO 1955 No. 41 - March 17, 1955
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Don Eastvold | 1953-1956 | Attorney General of Washington

TAXATION ‑- PROPERTY TAXES ‑- TV CABLES ‑- VALUATION OF INTRACOUNTY TV CABLES IS DUTY OF COUNTY ASSESSOR.

It is the duty of the county assessor, rather than the tax commission, to determine the assessed valuation of an intra-county [[intracounty]]coaxial TV cable.

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                                                                  March 17, 1955

 Honorable James E. Duree
Prosecuting Attorney
Pacific County
South Bend, Washington                                                                                                                Cite as:  AGO 55-57 No. 41

 Dear Sir:

             You have requested our opinion as to whether it is the duty of the state tax commission or the county assessor to place an assessed valuation on a coaxial TV cable located in Pacific County.

             We conclude that it is the duty of the county assessor to value said property.

                                                                     ANALYSIS

             You relate that the county assessor doubts whether it is his responsibility to assess a coaxial TV cable situated within your county.  It has been suggested that valuation should be determined by the tax commission as is done in the case of the operating property of inter-county [[intercounty]]utilities.

             You call attention to an opinion of this office rendered November 22, 1954 to the prosecuting attorney of Walla Walla county [[AGO 53-53 No. 346]]in which it was concluded that the state public service commission does not have jurisdiction over a business which operates a community antenna system for the distribution of television broadcasts.

             Whether a company is subject to the jurisdiction of the public service commission is not controlling as to whether its operating property is to be valued and assessed by the tax commission.  Before property of a company is assessable by the tax commission, the company must be a taxable company as defined  [[Orig. Op. Page 2]] by RCW 84.12.010, and its operating property must be located in more than one county, Northwest Imp. Co. v. Henneford, 184 Wash. 502.  Having no information to the contrary, we assume that the TV cable is located entirely within your county.  Its assessment therefore cannot be undertaken by the tax commission under the authority of the above case.

            We have been advised that the commission has not attempted to devise any formula for assessing such TV cable facilities.  We are advised, however, that such facilities exist in Grays Harbor and in Walla Walla counties.  Correspondence with the assessors of those counties should reveal the method by which they completed valuation of such property.

 Very truly yours,
DON EASTVOLD
Attorney General 

KEITH GRIM
Assistant Attorney General

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