First American Title Company Idaho v. J
ID.15034; 576 P.2d 581; 99 Idaho 10 (1978)
12670 Supreme Court of Idaho Nos. 12244
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The facts of these cases are not in dispute. First American Title Company of Idaho, Inc. (First American of Idaho), is an abstract title company incorporated in Idaho. It issues title insurance policies as the authorized agent and wholly owned subsidiary of First American Title Insurance Company, Inc., a national insurance company authorized to write title insurance policies in the State of Idaho. As an insurer, the national company pays the Idaho Director of Insurance a premium tax upon the insurance it writes. As an agent, First American of Idaho does not. Land Title and Escrow, Inc. (Land Title), so far as pertinent to this case, stands in much the same relationship as agent of the national insurer, Lawyers Title Company of Richmond, Virginia. Both First American of Idaho and Land Title own extensive title plants, consisting of tract indexes, abstract records and other materials necessary in the business. These title plants are continuously updated with all relevant documents filed in the counties where the companies write title insurance or issue opinions on abstracts. It is apparent from the record that in the past, title plants of abstract title companies were not generally taxed by local (county) taxing authorities. On November 5, 1974, however, the Idaho State Tax Commission, following a favorable decision in Fourth Judicial District Court, notified the county assessors throughout the State that this property should be assessed as other personal property and included on your subsequent roll for 1974.