Backman v. Department of Revenue

1999 WL 1567108 (1999)

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Backman v. Department of Revenue

Oregon Tax Court
1999 WL 1567108 (1999)

Facts

Wally Backman (plaintiff) was a professional baseball player born and raised in Oregon. Backman played major-league baseball between 1980 and 1993. Oregon taxed its domiciliaries unless they qualified for a nonresident exception. Backman filed Oregon tax returns for 1977 but not for 1988 through 1991 or 1993. The Oregon Department of Revenue (defendant) issued an assessment against Backman for 1988 though 1991 and 1993, ruling that he was an Oregon resident in those years. Backman appealed. The parties presented evidence pointing to and against Backman’s liability for Oregon taxes as a resident or domiciliary. Facts militating in favor of Oregon residence or domicile were, among other things, that Backman (1) was born and raised there and, until 1986, regularly returned with his family during the off-season; (2) owned two homes there, including one listed as his address for tax returns in other jurisdictions; (3) maintained bank accounts there; (4) renewed his Oregon drivers’ license; (5) obtained resident hunting licenses; and (6) spent time there, along with his wife, upon his 1993 retirement from baseball, as shown by his and his wife’s demonstrated presence and activities. Facts militating against Oregon residence or domicile were that Backman (1) did not live in Oregon during the baseball seasons; (2) purchased a home in New York in 1988 when he played for the New York Mets though he did not register to vote or register his vehicles in New York; (3) spent the off-seasons in Hawaii, where he rented a home and owned a business, starting in 1986; and (4) filed nonresident or part-year resident tax returns in other states for 1988 through 1990.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Robinson, J.)

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