Today’s example is the STATE OF ARIZONA has has revised codes called ARIZONA REVISED STATUTES abreviated A.R.S.(ARS).
ARS 1-201 says, “Adoption of common law; exceptions: The common law only so far as it is consistent with and adapted to the natural and physical conditions of this state and the necessities of the people thereof, and not repugnant to or inconsistent with the Constitution of the United States or the constitution or laws of this state, or established customs of the people of this state, is adopted and shall be the rule of decision in all courts of this state.”
Accroding to the definitions section, ARS 1-215:
28. “Person” includes a corporation, company, partnership, firm, association or society, as well as a natural person. When the word “person” is used to designate the party whose property may be the subject of a criminal or public offense, the term includes the United States, this state, or any territory, state or country, or any political subdivision of this state that may lawfully own any property, or a public or private corporation, or partnership or association. When the word “person” is used to designate the violator or offender of any law, it includes corporation, partnership or any association of persons.
29. “Personal property” includes money, goods, chattels, things in action and evidences of debt.
32. “Property” includes both real and personal property.
33. “Real property” is coextensive with lands, tenements and hereditaments.
37. “State”, as applied to the different parts of the United States, includes the District of Columbia, this state and the territories.
39. “United States” includes the District of Columbia and the territories.
** Private property is not defined**
ARS 1-211. Rules of construction and definitions
A. The rules and the definitions set forth in this chapter shall be observed in the construction of the laws of the state unless such construction would be inconsistent with the manifest intent of the legislature.
B. Statutes shall be liberally construed to effect their objects and to promote justice.
C. The rule of the common law that penal statutes shall be strictly construed has no application to these Revised Statutes. Penal statutes shall be construed according to the fair import of their terms, with a view to effect their object and to promote justice.
Under the ARS section for property tax: “The Arizona Constitution and statues offer several exemptions from personal property tax. Personal property used by the owner for private, domestic purposes is not subject to personal property taxation (except for manufactured housing). Household goods and furnishings, personal wardrobes and jewelry, or recreational possessions used in the owner’s residence or for private activities are exempt from property tax.”
Then there’s this, ” The personal property of utilities, railroads, pipelines, and mining properties is generally valued by the Arizona Department of Revenue.” Yet, our tax statement is sent from and collected on the behalf of the Department of Revenue of the state for our private, non-commercial, property.
What seems to be common with ALL tax exemptions in Arizona is that the property (real, estate, personal, etc) class is, they are “NOT HELD OR USED FOR PROFIT”!! BINGO
Arizona Tax Exemption publication lists them here>>https://azdor.gov/sites/default/files/media/PROPERTY_AssessmentPart1Ch4.pdf
Key Arizona Property Tax Exemption Court Decisions
Both the ownership and the use of the property are to be considered when granting property tax exemption requests. The fact that the constitution excludes from the exempt category any property of charitable organizations ‘used or held for profit’ creates a use requirement in addition to the ownership requirement. Kunes v. Samaritan Health Service, 121 Ariz. 413 (1979)
The use of the property for determination of eligibility for property tax exemption does not automatically fall to either the tenant or the owner. A.R.S. “§§ 42-11154 and 42-11152 specifically require us to consider the status of both owners and users of property in evaluating whether the property is ‘being used or held for profit’.” Volunteer Center of Southern Arizona v. Staples, 214 Ariz. 36, 147 P.3d 1052 (2006)
‘Not used or held for profit’ is not an absolute, all-or-nothing benchmark for evaluating a property’s charitable use tax exemption status. As long as the property owner primarily uses the property for the designated exempt purpose, the taxpayer is entitled to the exemption despite occasionally using the property for other purposes. “In interpreting and applying tax exemption statutes, our supreme court and this court have consistently recognized the taxpayer may claim the exemption despite some non-exempt use as long as the taxpayer is primarily using the property in the manner specified by the Legislature.” Tucson Botanical Gardens, Inc. v. Pima County, 189 P.3d 1096 (2008)
Other “Persons”, Activity and Things exempt From Taxation
“Person” includes a corporation, company, partnership, firm, association or society, as well as a natural person. When the word “person” is used to designate the party whose property may be the subject of a criminal or public offense, the term includes the United States, this state, or any territory, state or country, or any political subdivision of this state that may lawfully own any property, or a public or private corporation, or partnership or association. When the word “person” is used to designate the violator or offender of any law, it includes corporation, partnership or any association of persons.
(c) Persons who are not residents of this state and who will not use such property in this state other than in removing such property from this state. This subdivision also applies to corporations that are not incorporated in this state, regardless of maintaining a place of business in this state, if the principal corporate office is located outside this state and the property will not be used in this state other than in removing the property from this state.
The Administrative Remedy Is Confirmed
The Personal Property Publication goes on to say, “Correction of Errors: The property tax error correction procedure is not a substitute for the appeals process. Appeals are used when a property owner disagrees with the County Assessor’s opinion of value or legal classification.
An error must be exclusively factual in nature and be objectively verifiable without the exercise of discretion, opinion or judgment and must be demonstrated by clear and convincing evidence. A taxpayer may use the Taxpayer Notice of Claim – Personal Property (DOR Form 82179PT) to advise the tax officer of an error in the assessment of their property. That form identifies the type of error and the proposed correction of the error. These notification forms allow for a response by the receiving party, who either consents to the proposed correction or disputes the proposed correction and requests a meeting with the notifying party.
In my Off Tax Roll: Common Law Liability Action Process workbook I outline a way to find and show the factual errors according to their own code. They can either correct the record or suffer the consequences of being outed to the public and disgraced as incompetent, negligent or criminal in their capacity as “public servants”!