Standard Enterprise Zone Program

This abatement from local property taxes lasts for three to five years and is widely used across Oregon by diverse businesses.

Business Eligibility

Before construction/installation activities begin on-site, the local zone manager must receive an application for authorization PDF, which also provides a great deal of information.

Eligible businesses include manufacturers, processors, shippers and a variety of operations that serve other organizations, as well as call centers and headquarter-type facilities. Hotel/resort businesses also are eligible in some of the enterprise zones. Otherwise, retail, construction, financial and certain other defined activities are ineligible.

Qualified Property

A new building/structure, structural modifications or additions, or newly installed machinery and equipment qualify for exemption, but not land, previously used property value and miscellaneous personal property.

Criteria for Qualifying Projects

For the basic, three-year enterprise zone exemption period, the business needs to:

  • increase full-time, permanent employment of the firm inside the enterprise zone by the greater of one new job or 10% (or less with special-case local sponsor waivers);
  • generally have no concurrent job losses outside the zone boundary inside Oregon;
  • maintain minimum employment level during the exemption period;
  • enter into a first-source agreement with local job training providers; and
  • satisfy any additional local condition that has been established (only) in an urban zone.

Criteria for extended tax abatement (for a total of four or five exemption years)

These include the above criteria for the three-year period (which need to be maintained during the extra years), in addition to:

  • Special local approval (before authorization application is approved) by written agreement entered into with the local zone sponsor (city, port and county, or tribe), in which the sponsor may reasonably request additional requirements that the business must also satisfy, and
  • Except in the urban zones of the Salem and Portland areas, the average of new employees'—
    • compensation (including benefits), during all years of the abatement, needs to be at or above 130% or 150% of the county average wage as set at the time of authorization; and
    • wages must be equal to or greater than the current county average wage in that fourth/fifth year.