CASE DIGEST: Caltex v. CBAA (G.R. No. L-50466, May 31, 1982)

CASE DIGEST: CALTEX (PHILIPPINES) INC., petitioner, vs. CENTRAL BOARD OF ASSESSMENT APPEALS and CITY ASSESSOR OF PASAY, respondents. (G.R. No. L-50466, May 31, 1982)

FACTS: This case is about the realty tax on machinery and equipment installed by Caltex (Philippines) Inc. in its gas stations located on leased land.

The machines and equipment consists of underground tanks, elevated tank, elevated water tanks, water tanks, gasoline pumps, computing pumps, water pumps, car washer, car hoists, truck hoists, air compressors and tireflators.

Said machines and equipment are loaned by Caltex to gas station operators under an appropriate lease agreement or receipt. It is stipulated in the lease contract that the operators, upon demand, shall return to Caltex the machines and equipment in good condition as when received, ordinary wear and tear excepted.

The lessor of the land, where the gas station is located, does not become the owner of the machines and equipment installed therein. Caltex retains the ownership thereof during the term of the lease.
ISSUE: Are the pieces of machinery and equipment subject to realty tax despite them having been placed by a lessee?

HELD: Yes, they are subject to realty tax.

Here, the question is whether the gas station equipment and machinery permanently affixed by Caltex to its gas station and pavement (which are indubitably taxable realty) should be subject to the realty tax. This question is different from the issue raised in the Davao Saw Mill case.

Improvements on land are commonly taxed as realty even though for some purposes they might be considered personalty.

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