INCENTIVES

 

 The State of Oregon and local agencies within Columbia County offer a range of public incentives and financing options that strengthen the competitiveness of local firms by reducing the costs of doing business and providing access to capital. Most of these programs are geared towards manufacturing, logistics, processing, and other "traded-sector businesses".  

For more information on any of these programs, call CCET at (503)410-1061!

 

Standard Enterprise Zone Program

Enterprise Zones provide a full property tax exemption for three years on new plants and equipment for manufacturing, distribution, processing and other "traded-sector businesses". Nearly all of the industrial land along Columbia County's Highway 30 corridor is within an enterprise zone.  In order to qualify, firms must invest at least $50,000 in real and personal property and must expand their workforce by at least 10 percent within the enterprise zone to qualify.

The Enterprise Zone program also includes up to two years of property tax exemption for construction in progress, and not in present use on January 1 of the property tax year.

Finally, businesses may qualify for an additional two years of property tax exemption if they compensate employees at 150 percent of the annual average covered wages within Columbia County. This is subject to approval by the local jurisdictions that sponsor the Enterprise Zone.

The Lower Columbia Maritime Enterprise Zone includes the cities of Clatskanie, Rainier, the sites at Port Westward, and other unincorporated areas in North Columbia County.

The South Columbia County Enterprise Zone includes the cities of Scappoose, St. Helens, and Columbia City.

 

Long-Term Enterprise Zone Program

Investments in excess of $25 million may qualify for a seven to fifteen year property tax exemption on new plants and equipment under the Long-Term Enterprise Zone program. The local jurisdictions that sponsor the Enterprise Zone must approve the long-term property tax exemption to qualify.

With the Governor’s approval, corporate income tax credits can supplement this property tax relief. Special criteria restrict these incentives to rather exceptional investments in terms of minimum investment cost and a minimum number of new hires. These stipulations are dependent on the facility’s location and the county’s size.The credit is equal to 62.5 percent of gross payroll, and is to be used against state corporate excise and income tax liability relating to the facility. This is over and above an annual minimum payment of state taxes, provided the corporation owns the facility and Governor’s approval has been granted. The credits are received over a five to 15 year period, and each credit may be carried forward for five succeeding years.

 

Strategic Investment Program

The Strategic Investment program offers a 15 year property tax exemption for all investments valued in excess of $25 million. The Strategic Investment Program is subject to approval by the Columbia County Board of Commissioners. Participating firms pay an annual community service fee of 25 percent of the exemption, with an upper limit of $500,000 yearly

 

Oregon Investment Advantage

This income tax exemption program helps businesses start or locate in most Oregon counties, including Columbia County, with a 10 year income tax holiday.

Companies setting up operations in a qualifying county are eligible for a 10 year waiver on all income/excise taxes related to those operations. It is possible to avoid state business tax liability for the 10 year period.

General company eligibility requirements include:

  • The creation of at least five, new full-time, year-round jobs
  • Facility operations need to be the first of their kind in Oregon for that company
  • Facility operations cannot compete within the local economy

 

Energy Efficiency Rebates

The Columbia River People's Utility District offers grants for prescriptive energy efficiency measures and energy-engineering services for more complex end uses. Projects are subject to program guidelines and cost-effectiveness. Approved measures can receive grants of $.25 per kWh or 70% reimbursement of incremental project cost, whichever is less.  Customers are encouraged to include CRPUD’s energy efficiency staff in early facility design discussions to optimize energy efficiency opportunities, so as not to miss opportunities to maximize potential energy savings.