Laws, Regulations & Annotations

Property Taxes Law Guide – Revision 2014

Property Tax Annotations

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Annotation 755.0110

755.0110 Telephone Companies. Under paragraph (2) of section 19 of article XIII of the California Constitution, the Board's assessment jurisdiction extends to all property owned or used by various types of public utility companies, including telephone companies that are regulated. The Board has interpreted the term "regulated" to mean telephone companies that are regulated by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) as public utilities, or by a comparable federal commission or board, such as the Common Carrier Bureau of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). If a regulated telephone company owns or leases property in the state, including a telephone reseller that has its own switching system in California, that property is subject to Board assessment.

Each telephone company is separately evaluated by the Board to determine for jurisdictional purposes whether it: (1) is regulated by the CPUC or the FCC, and (2) owns or leases property. The evaluation of each company as a separate entity is necessary in order to determine whether the jurisdictional criteria in section 19 have been met. The "separate entity theory" gives effect to the laws of the state that endow corporations, partnerships, limited liability companies, and similar entities with an identity separate from its owners. Whether or not one corporation is wholly-owned by another (subsidiary-parent relationship), respect for the separate identity of each legal entity is basic to the administration and enforcement of sate law, including the determination of assessment jurisdiction. C 10/30/2000.