Property Tax

Small tract forestland (STF) severance tax ORS 321.751 and 321.754

At one time, Oregon taxed timber through the property tax system. The tax system considered timber as real property and taxed it accordingly. The 1993 Legislature determined that timber is more like an agricultural crop than real property and removed the value of standing timber from the property tax value.
 
Currently, the Small Tract Forestland (STF) severance tax is the only timber tax linked to property tax. This tax provides for the repayment of property taxes that were delayed until harvest through the STF program. 
 
The STF Severance Tax receipts are distributed to the State School Fund, the Community College Support Fund, and counties that have lands classified under the program. The State School Fund and Community College Support Fund receipts are distributed by May 15 of each year. Receipts for the counties are distributed by August 15 of each year. 
 
Small tract forestland severance tax distribution pie chart
 

Forest products harvest tax (FPHT)distribution ORS 321.152 and ORS 321.185


The Forest Products Harvest Tax (FPHT) is a tax on timber harvested from any land in Oregon, except most tribal lands. It was established to recover portions of the state's costs related to forest protection and forest research or to provide funding to improve public understanding of the state's forest resources.
 
Revenues are distributed quarterly to:
  • Administration of Oregon's Forest Practices Act. The Oregon Forest Practices Act encourages forest management that protects resources including soil, air, water, fish, and wildlife. It also helps preserve scenic areas along visually sensitive corridors and reduces the risk of injury or death from landslides directly related to poor forest practices. Currently, the FPHT covers 40 percent of the cost of administering this law. The state’s General Fund pays the other 60 percent. 
  • Forestry research at Oregon State University. Oregon State University provides forestry research through the Oregon Forest Research Laboratory. The FPHT provides approximately 10 percent of the lab’s research budget. 
  • Oregon Forestland Protection Fund. The Oregon Forestland Protection Fund serves as kind of an "insurance policy" for wildfires that can’t be handled by local fire districts alone. The FPHT provides 50 percent of the budget for this fund. The state’s General Fund pays the other 50 percent. 
  • The Oregon Forest Resources Institute. The Oregon Forest Resources Institute (OFRI) was created in 1991 to improve public understanding of the state's forest resources. OFRI provides information on Oregon's forest practices and encourages sound forest management. The institute is 100 percent funded by the FPHT. 
 
Forest products harvest tax distribution pie chart