Property Tax Exemptions & Special Assessments
Exemptions are defined as property that has been removed from the assessment roll, thus excluded from taxation. There are many different exemptions and/or special assessments which qualifying property owners and lessees can apply for.
Oregon laws provide property tax exemption for property owned or being leased by specified institutions or organizations. The most common institutions or organizations are religious, burial grounds and cemeteries, fraternal, certain schools and day care centers, and charitable (which include literary, benevolent, and scientific). There are exemption programs for Cancellation of Assessment on Commercial Facilities Under Construction and Construction-in-Progress Enterprise Zone. There is also a program that prorates the taxes on real or personal property that is destroyed or damaged as a result of fire or an act of God. Except for Commercial Facilities Under Construction, Construction-in-Progress Enterprise Zone and Act of God programs, real and personal property for which an exemption is requested must be in use and occupied by June 30. The property must be used in a manner that will further the stated purpose of that organization. The property must also be reasonably necessary to carry out that purpose. Any portion of a property not meeting these criteria is subject to assessment and taxation the same as all other taxable property.
Property tax exemptions are not automatic. Exemptions for owned or leased real and personal property require an application to be filed with the County Assessor between January 1 and April 1 prior to of the assessment year for which the exemption is requested. If the property is acquired, changed to an exempt use, or a lease/lease renewal is entered into after March 1 but before July 1, the claim for that year shall be filed within 30 days of the acquisition, change of use or date lease is "entered into." If the application is not filed timely, but meets the use and occupancy requirement, it may still be filed on or before December 31 of the tax year provided a late filing fee accompanies the application. The fee is the greater of $200.00 or 1/10 of one percent of the real market value of the property for which exemption is claimed.
Qualified organizations may request an exemption or special assessment according to the following Oregon Revised Statutes:
Applications For Real and/or Personal Property Tax Exemption
ORS 307.112 -- For Lease or Lease-Purchase Property Owned by a Taxable Owner and Leased to an Exempt Public Body, Institution or Organization * provides for the exemption of property leased or sub-leased by an exempt entity from a taxable owner, and is form 150-310-087 **please note, subleases from exempt entity to exempt entity are still under this statute if the property owner is taxable.
ORS 307.162 -- For Property Owned by Specified Institutions and Organizations provides for the exemption of property leased by an exempt entity from an exempt owner, and is form 150-310-088
ORS 307.166 -- For Property Leased by an Exempt Body to Another Exempt Body, Institution or Organization * provides for the exemption of property owned by an exempt entity, and is form 150-310-085
*Leased property tax exemptions have other requirements in addition to occupancy, use and filing deadlines. The lessee, not the owner of the property, must complete and file the application. The lessee, not the owner of the property, must benefit from the reduction of property taxes as a result of exemption approval. If the lease does not contain language indicating that the lessee will benefit from the tax savings, a lease addendum with the required lease language must be signed by both parties and submitted to this office in order to qualify. An example of the required language may be downloaded here: Lease Addendum
ORS 307.330 -- Application for (non-Enterprise Zone) Cancellation of Assessment on Commercial Facilities Under Construction
ORS 285C.170 -- Construction-in-Progress Enterprise Zone Exemption
ORS 308.701 -- Multiunit Rental Housing Special Assessment Application and Election Form
Chapter 539, Oregon laws 2003 -- Wildlife Habitat Conservation & Management Special Assessment (refer to ORS 308A.400-430)
Chapter 809, Oregon Laws 2007 -- Application for Conservation Easement Special Assessment (as required by ORS 308A.453(2))
ORS 307.495 -- Application for Farm Labor Camp and/or Day Care Facility
ORS 307.490 -- Statement of Rental Income for Farm Labor Camp and/or Day Care Center
You may download these applications and others at http://oregon.gov/DOR/PTD/propform.shtml.
You may also download an information circular for Property Tax Exemptions for specified organizations at http://oregon.gov/DOR/PTD/ptd_pubs.shtml.
Other Special Assessment Programs are available including Historic Properties, Open Space Lands and Riparian Lands. These programs have a potential tax liability (payback provision) if requirements are not met at any time or a request to withdraw from the program is made.
If you would like more information on any of these statutes, or more comprehensive descriptions of the categories under which one can file, please click here to link to the 307.xxx statutes on the Oregon Department of Revenue website. Click here to see the corresponding Oregon Administrative Rules. If you have questions about or wish to file for an exemption or special assessment, you can contact our office at:
Department of Assessment & Taxation Department
155 N. First Avenue, Suite 230
Hillsboro, OR 97124