Oregon’s Incentives

Tax Incentives

Oregon offers globally competitive tax incentives to encourage businesses to locate in Oregon, as well as existing Oregon businesses to grow and prosper.

Enterprise Zones—In exchange for locating or expanding in an enterprise zone, businesses receive exemption from local property taxes on new plant and equipment for at least three years (but up to five years) in the standard program. In addition, many zones can offer special incentives for investments in long-term rural facilities or electronic commerce operations.

Strategic Investment Program—The Strategic Investment Program exempts a portion of very large capital investments from property taxes for 15 years. The program is available statewide.

Construction-in-Process—With timely filing for each of up to two years, unfinished facility improvements may be exempt from local property taxes. In an enterprise zone, most authorized businesses enjoy a somewhat broader tax abatement using another form.

The Oregon Investment Advantage—This program helps businesses start or locate in a number of Oregon counties by providing a multi-year, income tax (on new business operations) deduction potentially eliminating state business tax liability during an eight- or nine-year period after operations begin.

Employer-provided Dependent Care Tax Credit—A 50% income tax credit for the annual cost of assisting employees with childcare and similar needs.

Work Opportunity Tax Credit—a federal tax credit incentive that Congress provides to private-sector businesses for hiring individuals from target groups who have consistently faced significant employment barriers.

Research Tax Credits—Corporate income tax credit for qualified research and basic research conducted each year in Oregon, as a state-level extension to the federal R&D tax credits.

Film & Video Incentives—Oregon offers a host of incentive programs for film and video productions taking place in the state. Incentive programs rebate:

  • 20% of the production's Oregon-based goods and services
  • An additional cash payment of up to 16.2% of wages paid to production personnel

Unlike other states' programs, these incentives are cash rebates as opposed to tax credits. This simplifies and speeds up the rebate process.

Renewable Energy and Related Incentives

Rural Renewable Energy Development Zones—A three- to five- year exemption from property taxes on new investments in wind energy farms, biofuel production facilities and other eligible projects in a designated county.

State Energy Loan Program (SELP)—for renewable energy, including manufacturing facilities. Loans range from 5 to 20 years and $20,000 to $20 million, depending on the borrower's need and financial situation. The Oregon Department of Energy finances these low-interest loans through the issuance of state general obligation bonds.

Renewable Energy Development Grants—Competitive for energy production systems that produce energy from renewable sources.

Biomass Producer or Collector Tax Credits—Income tax credit available to agricultural producers and biomass collectors for the production or collection of biomass that is to be used in Oregon as biofuel or to produce biofuel. The credit is based on the amount of biomass transferred to a biofuel producer during the tax year. This credit may be transferred to an Oregon taxpayer.

Energy Conservation Tax Credit—Transferable income tax credit based on 35% of the business investment to achieve substantial energy efficiencies. Two programs: Small Premium Projects (under $20,000) and Competitively Selected Projects (more than $20,000).

Alternative Energy Systems (ORS 307.175)—This abatement exempts the additional taxable value of equipping a property with net metering and with alternative systems for onsite electricity or climate control as compared to a conventional system.

Renewable Energy Policies—Creating Demand

Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS)—Oregon has one of the most aggressive renewable energy policies in the nation. This standard requires that electric utilities must meet at least 25% of their Oregon load with renewable energy by the year 2025. Virtually all of Oregon's electric load growth must come from new renewable energy. The standard also provides a goal that at least 1/3 of these targets be met by resources smaller than 25 megawatts in size. Solar energy counts double towards meeting the targets.

Feed-in Tariff—In 2009 Oregon enacted one of the first Feed-in Tariffs in the U.S. for photovoltaic systems. The law establishes a pilot feed-in tariff PDF for each investor-owned utility in the state. Under this pilot program, each qualifying system may be up to half a megawatt in size, with a maximum of 25 megawatts in total statewide capacity.

By 2020, these utilities must have at least 20 megawatts in total capacity for solar photovoltaics from projects between half a megawatt and 5 megawatts, in size.

Energy Trust of Oregon—A non-profit organization, funded through fees paid by utility ratepayers, the Energy Trust of Oregon offers services, cash incentives and solutions to customers of Portland General Electric, Pacific Power, NW Natural and Cascade Natural Gas for saving energy and tapping renewable resources.

Residential Energy Tax Credit (RETC)—This income tax credit for homeowners and renters is for premium-efficiency appliances and equipment, and renewable energy systems, installed in Oregon residences.