Oregon has multiple property tax exemptions in statute, of which many have specified sunset dates, and each year the Legislature extends the sunsets of many programs. House Bill 2130 A, and House Bill 2164 A are the vehicles for this year’s sunset extensions. 

Property taxes are important for funding county services, so the Association of Oregon Counties (AOC) is advocating for the Legislature to be cautious about exempting property owners from taxes, however, in both HB 2130 A and HB 2164 A, there are provisions that allow counties to be empowered with options to provide stability to their residents. 

HB 2130 A extends (to 2029) the property tax exemption for land owned by nonprofits for the purpose of building low income housing for sale. The property tax exemption on cargo containers that are held for overseas shipping was extended to 2026. The bill also makes permissive the homestead property tax exemption for surviving spouses of fallen public safety officers and extends it to 2025. Finally, there is a cap on the intangible taxable value for centrally assessed companies (in example: broadband providers). These entities are centrally assessed by the Oregon Department of Revenue, rather than individual counties. This bill passed the House floor unanimously on June 20, and now awaits further action in the Senate.

In HB 2164 A, the property tax exemptions that are extended include low-income rental housing (to 2030), historic property special property tax assessment (to 2022), and an exemption for food processing equipment (to 2025). The food processing equipment exemption now has a local opt-out provision. Counties and cities that have these facilities in their jurisdictions can enact ordinances that allow changing the rate and duration of the exemption, or choosing not to participate in the program at all. This bill passed the House floor on a 47-12 vote on June 24, and now awaits further action in the Senate.

Some of these extensions keep valuable tools in counties’ economic development tool boxes. The food processing exemption ensures stable markets for the agriculture community and helps create and maintain jobs on farms and in processing facilities. The cargo container exemption helps ports and shippers stay competitive in international markets.

Other sunset extensions help vulnerable populations in need of housing solutions. These tools will help provide social and economic stability for counties and their citizens.

Association of Oregon Counties (AOC) is supportive of HB 2130 A and HB 2164 A. 

For questions, please contact AOC Legislative Affairs Manager, Susan Morgan.

Contributed by: Megan Chuinard | Public Affairs Associate