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Oregon Basic Business Taxes 2011

Oregon's economic development, finance, and tax organizations provide a range of incentive programs to initiate new business and commercial investment. Specific programs include single-sales factor income taxes, workers' compensation insurance, and property taxes.

Area Development Online Research Desk (March 2011)
Oregon does not have taxes on:
• General sales;
• Use of equipment or other purchases;
• Inventory or goods in transit;
• Worldwide unitary income;
• Motor vehicle purchase;
• Statewide capital or asset value;
• Intangible properties such as stocks, bonds, or securities.

Income taxes:
The tax rate on corporate income of firms doing business in the state is the greater of a minimum tax based on relative sales ($150-$100,000, approximating 0.1 percent) or an income-based levy of 6.6 percent on amounts up to $250,000 and 7.6 percent above that (this second tier switches to $10 million in 2013). To apportion income for corporations with multi-state operations, Oregon relies 100 percent on relative interstate sales-i.e., single-sales factor with throwback rule in adherence to Uniform Division of Income Tax Purposes Act (UDITPA). Consequently, additional corporate assets or payroll in Oregon does not increase tax exposure.

Personal income tax rates (2011) start at 5 percent, rising to 7 percent on single/joint tax returns with taxable income greater than $3,100/$6,200, and then 9 percent on income greater than $7,750/$15,500, up to $125,000/$250,000. At that point, the marginal rate is 10.8 percent on income in excess of that level, and 11 percent on income in excess of $250,000/$500,000. (Starting in 2012, this last bracket disappears and the top rate drops from 10.8 percent to 9.9 percent.) Same rate applies to capital gains as other personal income.

Payroll taxes:
In addition to federal withholdings and minor payroll-based rates in a few county-regional transit districts, the following apply to businesses with employees in Oregon:

Unemployment insurance:
In 2011 - as calculated on the first $32,300 of each covered employee's wages - this tax rate ranges from 2.2-5.4 percent for experienced employers with an average rate of nearly 3.08 percent. The 2011 base rate for new employers is 3.3 percent, which changes to a company-specific, experience-based rate after the first 21-33 months of operations.

Workers' compensation insurance:
Oregon has created a system with among the lowest such costs in the country that is a benefit to employers, who may purchase coverage from any provider qualified to write workers' compensation insurance. Alternatively, the State Accident Insurance Fund (SAIF), a public, non-profit corporation, offers coverage, and qualifying large employers may receive certification as self-insured. Actual premiums will depend on the insurance carrier and on industrial and occupational classifications. Employee/employer withholding of $0.014/hour (each) supports state services.

Property taxes:
Tangible real and (business) personal property, unless specifically exempted, is subject to local taxation by counties, cities, schools and other districts. Registered vehicles and inventories, including raw materials, goods-in-process and finished products, are entirely exempt. Taxable property is always assessed at an amount equal to or less than real market value. A lower ratio may apply, because any annual appreciation in taxable value may not exceed three percent. The taxable value of new property is determined based on the county's average ratio of assessed value to real market value (AV/RMV) for all property with the same classification (e.g., residential); for new industrial property, the initial AV is often but not always at or near 100 percent of RMV. Additionally, the State Constitution caps every property tax bill at not more than 1.5 percent of RMV, aside from levies for voter-approved bond issuances. The tax rates vary by couple fold by location, but average around 1.5-1.6 percent of assessed value.

Sales and use taxes:
Other than fuel, tobacco, and other assorted excise taxes, Oregon does not levy sales or use taxes.

Oregon State Contact:
Business Oregon
775 Summer Street N.E.
Salem, OR 97301-1280
(503) 986-0123


Incentive and tax information is provided to Area Development by each state's economic development or commerce agency for information purposes only and is subject to revision at any time by the state government. Please contact the state agency directly for full requirements and offerings.
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