Tribal Enterprise Zone

Each of the nine federally recognized Indian Tribes in Oregon can have a single "reservation enterprise zone" designated to encompass up to 12 square miles of its tribal lands throughout the state.

In addition, a tribe can enter into special intergovernmental agreements with city, port or county governments to directly create and co-sponsor any number of contiguous "reservation partnership zones" anywhere in Oregon.

The Incentives

In both types of zones, the following apply:

  • Local property tax abatement for qualifying businesses, as allowed in any rural enterprise zone:
    • standard exemption of three to five years (except for hotels/resorts), and
    • long-term rural facility program (7 to 15 years) if inside eligible county.
  • Special tax credit against state income tax liability:
    • benefiting most any type of business operation that is new to zone/reservation,
    • claimed annually by business on state tax return using special form PDF for any income tax year that begins no later than during 2017 and
    • equals 100% of all tribal taxes in the first year of operations and of all annual tribal property taxes after that (no carry-forward of unused credit amounts).

Reservation Enterprise Zone Designation

  • Noncontiguous area may contain any of the following:
    • land on the tribe's reservation
    • land held in trust by the United States Government for the benefit of the tribe and/or
    • land officially pending trust status.
  • In order for Business Oregon to designate the zone, the tribal governing body may at any time adopt a resolution and submit it to the department, along with boundary map and other evidence.
  • Designation is not subject to statewide limit on enterprise zones normally available to local governments or to regular restrictions on distances within an enterprise zone.
  • After designation, the tribal government, which is the "zone sponsor," may change or expand the reservation enterprise zone boundary through an official request to the department. If the proposed request and the resulting zone boundary also fully conform to regular statutory provisions, including minimum distances and city/port/county co-sponsorship, then non-tribal land may be added.
  • A reservation enterprise zone terminates after 10 years, but it may be re-designated subject to criteria above.

Reservation Partnership Zones

  • No limit on number of such zones statewide, by tribe, etc.
  • Zone area (less than or equal to 12 square miles):
    • Must be contiguous and contain some territory inside each co-sponsoring city, port or county, and
    • Tribal trust and reservation land allowed (even outside city/port/county) but not required.
  • No necessary state agency involement, but rather local, totally self-administered.
  • Perhaps, most useful for discrete parcels, in which Tribe and local government share mutual interst in advancing development.
  • Zone is created pursuant to a co-sponsorship agreement:
    • Must involve, at a minimum, the Tribe and a city, port and/or county with territory inside the proposed zone.
    • Depite overlapping jurisdictions, one such local government as a part to the agreement is enough, either the city, port or county.
    • Needs to address mututal zone sponsor roles and responsibilities (ORS 285C.105), as well as the boundary of the zone area.
    • Based on special intergovernmental agreement (IGA) provided under state law (ORS 197.110), to which Tribe can be a party (utilize legal counsel).
    • Term is for 10-11 years of zone, consistent with normal enterprise zone existence.
    • Could be amended to expand zone area within orginally sponsoring jurisdictions.