Property Tax Deferrals and Exemptions

Farm and Forest Deferrals 
Many rural properties are eligible for what is called a special assessment or deferral if the property is "used exclusively for farm use" or "used for the predominant purpose of growing and harvesting trees of a marketable species".  The purpose of these programs is to provide a financial incentive to property owners, in the form of reduced property taxes, for keeping their land in agricultural or timber production.

 

There are two separate farm use programs, one for properties that are zoned exclusively for farm use (EFU) and another for properties that are zoned something other than for exclusive farm use.

 

There are two distinct forest land special assessment programs for Western Oregon. The first is called Western Oregon Forest Land and Privilege Tax (WOFLAPT) and the other is Small Tract Forestland (STF).

 

The Oregon Department of Revenue has information on all of these programs on its website.  Many of the following links for publications and forms will direct you to the Oregon Department of Revenue site in order to ensure you have the most up-to-date versions.  If the link has been broken, please contact us and we will correct it. 


Senior and Disabled Property Tax Deferral Program

Senior and disabled property owners may be eligible to have their property taxes deferred on their owner-occupied residence.

To determine if you might be eligible, download the Program Criteria.

 

For additional information, please see the Department of Revenue’s website on Deferral Programs.


Property Tax Exemptions for Veterans, Surviving Spouses, and Active Military

Disabled Veteran or Surviving Spouse of a Veteran

 

If you are a disabled veteran or the surviving spouse of a veteran, you may be entitled to the Veteran's Property Tax Exemption offered by the State of Oregon. You are eligible for this exemption if:

 

  • You must be a disabled veteran with a 40% disability documented with the Department of Veteran Affairs, discharged honorably, or be the surviving spouse remaining unmarried of an honorably discharged veteran.
  • The applicant must own and live on the property.

 

If you meet the above criteria, a portion of the assessed value of your residential property would be exempt from property tax.  You must file an application with the County Assessor between January 1 and April 1 for the following tax year.  More Information can be found in the Department of Revenue Publication: Disabled Veteran or Surviving Spouse Property Tax Exemption.

 

Active Military Service Members

 

You are eligible for this exemption if:

 

  • You are an Oregon resident;
  • You own your home and it is your primary residence;
  • You live in your home except when away performing military service;
  • You are serving in the Oregon National Guard or military reserve forces; You are ordered to federal active duty (Title 10) or deployed under the Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC) on or after January 1, 2005 (if you are in regular active enlistment or on a regular tour of duty, you do not qualify); and
  • You are ordered to serve under Title 10 status or EMAC deployment for more than 178 consecutive days.

 

If you meet the above criteria, a portion of the assessed value of your residential property would be exempt from property tax.  You must file a claim with the Assessor's Office for each tax year during which you served, or will serve, at least one day of your qualified service.


Property Tax Exemptions for Specified Organizations

Oregon laws provide a property tax exemption for property owned, being purchased, or leased by certain qualifying organizations.  The most common qualifying entities are:

 

  • Religious
  • Fraternal
  • Literary
  • Benevolent or Charitable Organizations
  • Scientific Institutions
  • Schools

 

There are specific eligibility requirements for each organization.  For more information, see the Department of Revenue publication, Property Tax Exemptions for Specified Organizations.

 

Federal, State, and Local Government Property

 

Federal, State, and Local Government Property is exempt without application.  However, if any portion of the property is leased to a taxable owner, that portion is no longer exempt.  Non-profit organizations that lease from a federal, state, or local government entity, may be eligible for an exemption if they file an application and can meet the qualifications for Property Tax Exemptions for Specified Organizations.


Oregon Enterprise Zone Exemption

Oregon's enterprise zones offer a unique resource to Oregon communities, and an excellent opportunity for businesses growing or relocating in Oregon. Primarily, enterprise zones exempt businesses from local property taxes on new investments.  In Columbia County, there are currently two enterprise zones, South Columbia County, which serves areas of Scappoose, Saint Helens, and Columbia City, and Lower Columbia Maritime, which serves areas of Rainier, Clatskanie, Port Westward, and Wauna Industrial Park.  For more information on Oregon Enterprise Zone Exemption, please visit Business Oregon.

 

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Fax: 503-397-5153
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Columbia County Courthouse Annex
St. Helens,
OR
97051

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