Property Tax determination for a cell tower site
(Frederick County, VA)
In the 2001 cell tower lease my parents have on their property. It states that the physical structure of the cell tower itself is to be considered the personal property of the cellular service company that installed it. Which is all good, as long as the personal property tax is sent to them to pay. However, since the signing of the lease, the County has considered the tower as real property, which means real estate taxes are due twice a year on the assessed value of the cell tower structure. According to the County they live in, Real Estate taxes are the property owners liability, not the cellular service company. This leaves my parents requesting reimbursement each year from the cellular service company, which so far, they have been fortunate to receive. Because of this situation, it also makes it impossible to sell the lease to a third party, because then any future owner of the property it sits on will be stuck with the hassle of trying to get a cellular service company to reimburse them, and they would have no recourse to enforce it. It would basically devalue the property to sell the lease to a third party. Is there anything that can be done to correct this tax oversight in an existing lease?