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How forestland is taxed in Oregon
Property in Oregon is valued and taxed based upon the real market value—the price for which land would sell on the open market. The Legislature recognized that urban areas are encroaching on lands capable of growing timber. Legislators also recognized that this drives up the value of and tax on these properties and makes holding these lands while the timber is growing more expensive. Oregon offers special assessment programs to forestland owners. These programs reduce the property tax the landowner pays if they agree to manage the property primarily for growing and harvesting timber.
 
Most forestland owners choose to have their property taxed under the forestland program. This program is available to owners who own at least two acres of forested land. Under this program, the property tax is based upon a special-assessment value that represents the price a knowledgeable purchaser would pay for land that is primarily used to grow and harvest timber. This specially assessed value is typically much lower than the real market value. The landowner is required to be actively growing a marketable species of trees on the property or have a plan for growing trees that will eventually be harvested. To apply for this designation, apply to the assessor of the county in which the property is located. 
 
The small tract forestland (STF) program is designed with the small-woodland owner in mind. This program is available to landowners who own at least 10 acres but less than 5,000 acres of forestland. Under the STF Program, the specially-assessed value on which the property tax is based is reduced by 80 percent. In exchange for the reduced property tax, the landowner must pay the STF severance tax when timber is harvested from the land.  Once the property enters the STF program it stays in the program until the property is sold or transferred. If the STF property is sold or transferred, the new owner may apply for STF designation otherwise they will be liable for the additional tax assessment. 
 
Two other special assessment programs are available for forestland owners: 
1. Property enrolled in the Wildlife Habitat Conservation and Management program administered by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife is eligible for a wildlife habitat assessment. (ORS 308A.400-308A.430) This program is available for owners who wish to manage their forestland for wildlife habitat rather than timber production. Under this program, taxes are assessed at the same rate as farm or forest special assessment. 
 
2. The Conservation Easement is available through the counties. The land is assessed at the same rate as farm or forest special assessment. Specific criteria apply under ORS 308A.450-308A.465.
 
Special assessment programs for forestland