The following is a summary of the facts you have provided upon which we base our ruling. Your company, ********************, "Company A," is in the business of selling and delivering electricity and electric service to consumers in Massachusetts. In order to provide this service, Company A owns electric poles that have been permanently installed in real property on public and private streets and highways, wooded areas, and private lots. The wood poles are approximately 40 feet tall and are cemented into the ground in a cement foundation with other necessary supports, such as guy wires, to keep them rigid and permanent.
In order to install the poles, a hole that is at least one-fifth of the length of the pole and a foot larger than the diameter of it is dug in the ground. Generally, the pole is erected with a derrick. The poles require heavy machinery to lift and guide the pole into the ground and remain steady while the foundation cures. A cement truck pours a cement foundation around the pole. A pole can easily last 25 to 50 years. Sometimes they are removed and replaced and sometimes they are retired and left in place and a new pole installed.
Prior to affixing the poles to the land Company A obtains a perpetual easement or other right of way from the landowner or municipality to use the land. The poles constitute a planned network of permanent structures and are used to support electric equipment such as wires and cables. Company A pays property tax under G.L. c. 59, § 2 on these poles to the local Massachusetts municipalities in which they are located.
Company A has been asked by ********************, "Company B" to sell a one-half interest in these installed poles so that Company B can attach its telecommunication wires, cables and equipment to the poles in order to provide services to consumers in Massachusetts. Pursuant to Intercompany Operating Procedures agreed to by both Company A and Company B, the installed poles will be co-owned by both Company A and Company B, with each company jointly responsible for maintenance, payment of property tax, and any other issues that arise. The sales price of the interest is a flat amount of ******* per pole.