The small tract forestland (STF) program was developed to accommodate the varying needs of small woodland owners. This program allows the landowner to delay paying part of their annual property taxes until after the timber is harvested. Landowners in this program have a reduced property tax assessment that’s intended to recognize the importance of forestland to Oregon's economy and respond to the growing pressures that urban growth was putting on natural resource lands.
How the program works
Like the forestland program, the STF program applies to land classified by the county as either "highest and best use" forestland or "designated" forestland.
A landowner pays an annual property tax on 20 percent of the forestland special assessment value.
To account for the annual property tax reduction, the landowner pays the severance tax
when they harvest the timber from the property.
Choosing a program
Several factors influence whether you should remain in the Forestland Program or choose the STF Program. Read more about the advantages and disadvantages
How to get into the STF program
Apply to the assessor in the county
in which the land is located. In the case where land was not previously classified as forestland, you’ll need to complete both the Application for Designation of Land as Forestland
and the Application for Small Tract Forestland
You must own at least 10 but less than 5,000 acres of forestland within the state. For any lot you put into the program, you must also include all land you own that’s contiguous to that tax lot.
Once your property qualifies, you can’t remove it from the program until you sell the property or transfer it to a new owner.
Disqualification or removal
The county assessor may disqualify lands that no longer meet the standards for this program. The owner of the disqualified lands will be required to pay an additional tax assessment. Once you are disqualified from the STF program you can’t reenter the program for five years.
If an STF property is sold or transferred, the new owner will be liable for the additional tax assessment if they don’t apply for STF designation. The additional assessment is a three-step calculation:
- Find the difference between the tax paid under the STF Program and the tax that would have been paid under the Forestland Program for the number of years the property has been in the STF Option, up to a maximum of 10 years.
- The difference between the taxes that would have been paid under the Forestland Program for the previous five years and the tax that would have been paid for the same five-year period had the land been taxed at the real market value. (The number of years calculated would be the lesser of the number of consecutive years the land was forestland or five years.)
- The additional assessment is the sum of the amounts calculated from step 1 and 2.