Oregon Opportunity ZonesThe state of Oregon currently features 86 Qualified Opportunity Zones. These opportunity zones are census tracts that are defined by low-income. The program requires a tract to be nominated by the state governor. Oregon has opportunity zones spread throughout the state as there are only a handful of cities with more than one tract. Here are some areas heavier in opportunity zone tracts.

  • Portland

    31 of the census tracts are located in the Portland area

  • Tribes

    All nine state tribes (Clackamas, Gresham) qualified

  • Bend

    There are three tracts that qualified in this city

  • Harney County

    Highest unemployment rate in state

The introduction of Opportunity Zones is a way to promote private investments in economically distressed communities. The premise behind this program is that capital gains tax incentives will bolster low-income areas and enhance the overall economy within the state. To qualify as an opportunity zone, a census tract must meet certain criteria, which relies primarily on income requirements.

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Oregon Tax Situation

Oregon features one of the highest state income tax rates in the country at 9.9 percent. Only California and Hawaii have a higher state income tax. To compensate for that high-income tax rate, the state of Oregon does not have a state sales tax. The property taxes in Oregon are a little less than the median amount of all 50 states. For a median value home in Oregon, residents can expect to pay $2,637 annually in property taxes.

High tax rates ado not impact those in a lower-income bracket, although wealthy residents are hot much harder. Oregon ranks as the fourth worst state for the wealthy when it comes to taxes. Individuals earning an excess of $125,000 annually are subject to the 9.9 percent tax rate. The same rate applies to two-person households in which the annual income is $250,000 or greater.

The legalization of recreational marijuana has introduced a 17 percent tax and retailers can also add an additional tax of up to 3 percent. Those taxes are divided up throughout the state with 40 percent going to the state’s Common School Fund and 20 percent going to mental health, alcoholism and drug services.

OR Industries with Tax Breaks

Oregon is home to an array of industries eligible for tax benefits. The government has also introduced incentive programs that apply to a myriad of industries. Oregon’s industry is on the cutting edge and features companies with innovative products, methods and ideas. Below are a few industries that provide tax breaks to companies in Oregon.

    • Agriculture

      Several tax breaks are available in the agricultural sector with a number of incentive programs.

    • Alternative fuels

      Tax reliefs are designed in conjunction with the Department of Energy.

    • Renewable energy

      There are a number of tax credits for businesses that specialize in renewable energy resources and equipment.

    • High Tech Industry

      Various industries fall into this category and many involve the inclusion of tax credits.

    Since Oregon has no sales tax, retail businesses experience several benefits by moving to the state. There are also several government incentives that allow lucrative employee deductions in Oregon. Also, businesses can carry their corporate net operating losses for as many as fifteen years.

    Oregon State Financial Facts

    Cost of living is high in some parts of Oregon as Portland and Eugene rank among the 25 highest cities in the country. However, the entire state does not share that same cost. Here is a look at some of the state’s key financial facts:

    • Median household income – $57,532
    • Total household investments

    61.7 percent of families that own their home

                Median value of Oregon home – $331,400

                Average weekly wage – $1,014

      Current economic condition of Oregon

      The bustling economy in Oregon continues to reach even greater heights each quarter. Unemployment is at a historically low rate of 4.1 and has been right around that mark for more than a year. Job growth remains on an upward trajectory in Oregon as it has the second highest rate of any state in the country. Job growth is also the greatest in the bracket of middle-wage earners, who average a yearly salary between $35,000 and $50,000. Poverty rates are also decreasing and even though the high-tech industry has experienced some regression, overall industry within the state is on the rise. 

      This trend is one that has been continuing as only two states have experienced a higher economic growth since the turn of the century. Since 2001, the Oregon economic growth rate of 56 percent has more than doubled the national growth rate.

      Some economic forecasts predict a slowdown, although the state continues to thrive economically. This has provided a secure future for Oregon residents while also serving as an appealing destination for those looking to find a new home. The Gross Domestic Product of Oregon is vastly outperforming all of its neighboring states and has become a prime example for other states seeking to improve their economies

      Primary Industries in Oregon

      Oregon has not gained long-term economic success because of a reliance on one particular industry. Instead, the state has a plethora of thriving industries, which continue to grow each quarter. However, there are some industries that have long since been a steadfast part of the Oregon economy and they are as follows:

      • Wood processing
      • High Tech Industry
      • Commercial fishing
      • Agriculture
      • Advanced Manufacturing

      Opportunity Zones in Oregon

      Oregon has a wealth of prosperous communities, but there are still some in need of some help. Low-income areas throughout Oregon have amounted to the establishment of 86 opportunity zones. These tracts are spread throughout the state and here is a look at all the opportunity zones that have qualified in the state of Oregon. 

      • Baker City
      • South Corvallis
      • Corvallis (downtown)
      • Clackamas (3)
      • Wilsonville
      • Oregon City
      • Willamette Falls
      • Astoria—Tongue Point
      • Helens
      • North Bend
      • Coos Bay
      • Prineville and Powell Butte
      • Port Orford
      • Redmond
      • Bend (3)
      • Roseburg
      • Reedsport
      • Burns and Hines
      • Hood River
      • Cascade Locks
      • Medford (2)
      • White City
      • Warm Springs
      • Madras (East side)
      • Grants Pass (downtown)
      • Chiloquin
      • Klamath Falls (downtown)
      • Lakeview
      • Eugene (3)
      • Springfield (2)
      • Lincoln City
      • Millersburg
      • Albany (downtown)
      • Ontario
      • Nyssa
      • Salem (3)
      • Woodburn (2)
      • Portland (6)
      • Port of Portland
      • Gateway (2)
      • Gresham
      • Rockwood (4)
      • Fairview (2)
      • South Waterfront
      • West Salem
      • Dallas
      • Sherman County
      • Garibaldi
      • Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation
      • Milton-Freewater
      • Hermiston
      • La Grande (East side)
      • The Dalles (2)
      • Tigard(2)
      • Beaverton (2)
      • Tualatin (2)
      • Hillsboro
      • Forest Grove
      • McMinnville
      • Grand Ronde
      • Newberg

      As evidenced by the list above, some communities are still in need of an economic turnaround. The state of Oregon has provided that chance with the implementation of these opportunity zones. And while cities like Portland are faring well economically, there are communities that are still disadvantaged. Portland leads Oregon with six opportunity zones and those areas are densely populated. Temporary tax deferrals and capable gains tax exclusions can serve the purpose of catching these communities up to the rest of Oregon’s economy. This remains one more endeavor in a long line of initiatives that have helped grow Oregon into one of the top economic states in the entire nation.


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