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GRESHAM, OR-Fujitsu Microelectronic has successfully appealed its recent property tax appraisals, and will receive a $172,000 credit from the City of Gresham on its current-year tax receipts. The company also will receive an unspecified refund from Multnomah County and at least one school district, which also receive a piece of the company’s property tax payments.

In addition to the value of the structure, property valuations also are based on how much the equipment inside the building costs and how much revenue that equipment can help the company generate. Fujitsu successfully argued that plant equipment was less valuable than estimated due to an extraordinarily depressed market for its DRAM computer chips. The state Department of Revenue agreed to a settlement that reduced the plant’s value during those tax years by upward of $300 million. Despite the loss of finds, Gresham’s finance manager Terry McCall says “Fujitsu pays substantial taxes and we benefit from them, so I still have to be appreciative of what we do have, and also appreciate Fujitsu as a corporate citizen.”

The company’s Southeast Stark Street plant has one of the 10 highest assessed values in Oregon and, because of it, Fujitsu provides one-eighth of the property tax dollars the city uses to pay for police and fire services. Alas, the company next year expects to add new equipment that will increase its assessed value and the corresponding tax payments – until they appeal it again, that is.

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