Historic Property Tax Incentives
Special Assessment of Historic Property Program
FAX (503) 986-0793
Special Assessment Program
State Historic Preservation Office
725 Summer Street NE, Suite C
Salem, OR 97301
Financial incentives are important tools in encouraging the preservation of historic buildings. Established in 1975, Oregon's Special Assessment of Historic Property Program was the nation's first state-level historic preservation tax incentive. It "freezes" a property's assessed value for 10 years. It is most effective when the "freeze" is in place prior to any substantial rehabilitation of the property.
Basic program requirements are as follows:
- The property must be listed in the National Register of Historic Places, either individually or as a contributing property in a historic district, or be considered historic by the State Historic Preservation Officer, and listed within two years of being certified for the benefit program.
- A preservation plan must be prepared that outlines substantial rehab work the building will undergo during the 10-year period, with emphasis on exterior rehabilitation of the structure.
- There is an application fee equal to 1/10 of 1% (0.001) of the assessed value.
- 10% of the total real market value (RMV) of the property must be invested in rehabilitation within the first five years of the program. For most properties, this includes the RMV of both the building (improvements) and the land.
- State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) approval or local government approval, which ever is appropriate, is needed for exterior projects, and interior projects of substance.
- An approved plaque provided by the Oregon SHPO must be installed on the building.
To receive the maximum benefit, an application should be submitted BEFORE any rehabilitation is undertaken. This helps assure that the "frozen" assessed value is the PRE-rehabilitation value.
Income-producing historic buildings may also qualify for the Federal Tax Credit program
Additional Special Assessment program requirements are detailed in the Program Information document found below under the heading New Application Forms & Instructions.
-- Special note regarding second 10-year term of the Special Assessment benefit --
- Owners of commercial property are eligible to reapply for a second term without needing local government approval.
- Owners of residential property are only eligible to reapply for a second term if their local government has not passed an ordinance or resolution PROHIBITING a second term. (Currently, SHPO is unaware of such prohibitions.)
- The Preservation Plan for a second 10-year term is limited to the following types of projects: energy conservation, ADA compliance, seismic improvements, or sustainability, with an investment that meets or exceeds 10% of the total Real Market Value of the property at time of application.
List of Special Assessment Properties
New Application Forms & Instructions
- View the statewide list [ pdf ] of historic buildings currently participating in the Special Assessment Program.
- Application Cover Memo [PDF]
- Application Form [PDF]
- Preservation Plan Form [PDF]
- Program Information [PDF]
- Application Instructions [PDF]
- Application/Reapplication Checklist [PDF]
- Example of Application for Commercial Property [PDF]
- Example of Application for Residential Property [PDF]
- Design Review Application for Alterations, New Construction, and/or Major New Landscaping [rtf]
- Request to Amend Preservation Plan Form [rtf]
Senate Bill 192 was passed during the 2009 Oregon legislation session; this bill contains revisions to the Special Assessment of Historic Property tax benefit program. The new statute is posted below.
Acrobat Reader "pdf" files can only be viewed and printed. Rich Text Files "rtf" and Microsoft Word files can be edited in a word processor and then printed.