Property Tax

Property in Oregon is valued and taxed based upon the real market value—the price the land would sell for 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 and tax on these properties and makes holding these lands while the timber is growing more expensive. This is why 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 with at least two acres of forested land. 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, which 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.
 
The small tract forestland (STF) program is available to landowners who own at least 10 but less than 5,000 acres of forestland. Under the STF program, the landowner pays 20 percent of the property tax annually, but must also pay the STF severance tax when they harvest timber from the property.
 

Two other special assessment programs are available for forestland owners:

Owners who want to manage their forestland as a wildlife habitat can enroll in the Wildlife Habitat Conservation and Management program administered by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. Under this program, taxes are assessed at the same rate as farm or forest special assessment. 
 
A conservation easement is available through the counties. The land is assessed at the same rate as farm or forest special assessment. See ORS 308A.450—308A.465 for more information.