Over half a million people have relocated to Oregon in the last decade, putting it in the top half of all states in terms of population and growth rate. While previously unknown cities like Portland have become popular places for millennials, coffee-enthusiasts, and brewery hoppers alike, the State of Oregon maintains an excellent reputation as a haven for businesses at every stage.
Along with the rush of young adults into the state, burgeoning businesses continue to choose Oregon as their home base, and for good reason. Oregon’s tax incentive programs for businesses willing to relocate is among the most competitive on a national and global scale. In addition to a variety of resources for enabling businesses to efficiently transfer their operations to the Beaver State, the programs include a premium selection of tax benefits, ranging from property tax abatement to a decade of income tax-free operation.
Each year, All Service Moving works with both established business owners and budding entrepreneurs who are expanding their businesses and are making a local or long-distance move. If you own a company and are considering making a move, here’s a high-level look at some of Oregon’s most competitive tax incentives:
The Oregon Investment Advantage is known as one of the best tax benefit programs Oregon has to offer to businesses who choose to expand their operations throughout the state. This program offers businesses setting up operations in an eligible county the chance to enjoy up to a 10-year income tax holiday. This makes it ideal for companies looking to expand without the pressure of added tax liabilities.
Requirements for obtaining the full benefits of the Oregon Investment Advantage include the creation of at least five jobs, the establishment of a facility that is the first of its kind in Oregon, and the guarantee that said business will not compete with local, existing businesses. Application for certification under the Oregon Investment Advantage must be submitted prior to any hiring or construction on a new facility, and, once obtained, certification must be renewed on an annual basis.
For companies moving to an Oregon location, state-designated enterprise zones offer exemption from local property taxes for up to five years depending on the location and zoning program. Oregon currently offers 73 enterprise zones, with 56 in rural counties and 17 in urban locations. For businesses looking to build, the Enterprise Zones Program includes a Construction-in-Process exemption that allows for two years of property tax abatement while a facility is under construction. This is in addition to the three to five years of property tax abatement that companies are eligible for once the business is in service.
A few specialized programs also offer extended benefits under the Enterprise Zones program that may apply to businesses representing e-commerce investments, businesses relocating to Tribal Lands, or businesses seeking to establish facilities in rural areas for the long term.
This benefit program is among the best in Oregon. It offers up to 15 years of property tax exemption on portions of significant capital investments ranging from $25 million to values greater than $1 billion. Traditionally, businesses must hold a property value in excess of $100 million in order to qualify for the benefit’s full exemption.
Projects are approved under this program on a local basis, however, several Strategic Investment Zones offer an alternative to the more “traditional” route, which includes a hearing and negotiated agreement between all parties. These zones are “pre-approved” for the Strategic Investment Program, and are used by local governments to incentivize companies to plant their roots with the promise of tax exemption.
In addition to its state-run programs, businesses moving to Oregon may settle in Federal Opportunity Zones. These offer tax benefits in exchange for medium-to-long-term investments in low-income communities. Currently, over 300 locations in Oregon are designated as low income communities, 25% of which Oregon may nominate for federal designation. Each designation from the federal government lasts until 2028, leaving opportunity for thousands of businesses to pursue this incentive over the next nine years.
Oregon has created yet another incentive program for small businesses seeking to expand their operations. The Small Manufacturing Business Expansion Program is designed to support businesses throughout the state. It offers cash-based, forgivable loans on a variety of projects, including building acquisition, new construction sites, renovations, new equipment, and new employee training. All funding has been awarded for this cycle, but new funding announcements can be found here.
Oregon’s tax incentives make it easy to consider the gem of the Pacific Northwest a top pick for your next HQ. With the help of our local and long-distance Oregon and Washington moving teams, you can avoid common business moving mistakes. Contact us today!
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