Oregon Tax Court
Jurisdiction & Proceedings
The Oregon Tax Court has exclusive, statewide jurisdiction in all questions of law or fact arising under state tax laws, e.g., income taxes, corporate excise taxes, property taxes, timber taxes, local budget law, and property tax limitations, etc.
The Tax Court consists of two divisions: the Magistrate Division and the Regular Division (ORS Chapter 650, Oregon Laws 1995). The Judge of the Tax Court, elected by the Oregon voters for a six-year term, appoints one presiding magistrate and one or more individuals to sit as magistrates of the Magistrate Division.
Trials in the Magistrate Division are informal proceedings. Statutory rules of evidence do not apply and the trials are not recorded. The proceedings may be conducted by telephone or in person. A lawyer, public accountant, real estate broker or appraiser may represent a taxpayer. There is a $50.00 fee for filing an appeal with the Magistrate Division. Decisions may be appealed to the Regular Division of the Oregon Tax Court. An appeal must be filed within 60 days (not two months) after the date of the Magistrate's decision.
Appeals from the Magistrate Division are made directly to the Regular Division of the Tax Court. The judge of the Tax Court presides over trials in the Regular Division. The Regular Division is comparable to circuit court and exercises equivalent powers. All trials are before the judge only (no jury) and are recorded. The parties must either represent themselves or be represented by an attorney. Appeals from the judge's decision are made directly to the Oregon Supreme Court.