How Does Oregon Rate?
Oregon’s Business Climate Continues to Rank as One of the Best in the Nation
We live in a world where we often find ourselves overwhelmed by data and information, and hear many voices all claiming their state or community is the ideal business location. Nonetheless, it is good to remember that some of that data points to Oregon’s compelling case as a great place to do business. Below is a quick reminder of where we rank when it comes to business climate and other key economic factors . . .
- Oregon is #1 Location for Manufacturing
American Institute for Economic Research, 2011
- #2 Lowest Taxes on New Investment
Ernst & Young C.O.S.T. Study, 2011
- Oregon has #5 Lowest Effective Biz Tax Rate
Ernst & Young C.O.S.T. Study, 2011
(Oregon has ranked in the top five lowest effective business tax rates for the past five years)
- Top 10 Lowest Cost of Doing Business
- Oregon Ranked Top Five for Quality of Life
Business Facilities, 2011
- #9 Best State for Business
- #2 Most Inventive State (patents)
CNN/Kaufman Foundation, 2010
- Oregon Ranked #2 Greenest Economy
Brookings Institute, 2011
- PDX Ranked Best Airport 4 of Last 5 Years
Condé Nast, 2006-10
- Oregon’s GDP has grown at a faster average rate than any other western state
(9 western-most states) over the last 5 years, as well as the last 10.
- Oregon’s GDP was the fifth fastest growing in the nation from 2009 to 2010 (3.4% growth).
- Finally, the value of Oregon exports has grown 23% since 2009.
Oregon Business Development Department
A list of incentives and resources offered by the State of Oregon for local businesses and companies considering relocating to our area are listed below with additional information for all on the Business Oregon’s website.
Oregon offers globally competitive tax incentives to help encourage businesses to locate in Oregon, and existing Oregon businesses to grow and prosper.
Enterprise Zones – In exchange for locating or expanding in an enterprise zone, businesses receive exemption from local property taxes on new plant and equipment for at least three years (but up to five years) in the standard program. In addition, some zones can offer special incentives for investments in long-term rural facilities or electronic commerce operations.
The Oregon Investment Advantage – This income tax exemption program helps businesses start or locate in a number of Oregon counties by providing a multi-year deduction for all income-based taxes related to the new business operations, potentially eliminating state business tax liability during that multi-year period.
Strategic Investment Program – The Strategic Investment Program exempts a portion of very large capital investments from property taxes. The program is available statewide.
Research Tax Credits – Corporate tax credit for qualified research and basic research conducted in Oregon, as a state-level extension of federal R&D tax credits.
Construction-in-Process – With timely filing for each of up to two years, unfinished improvements to a business facility may be exempt from local property taxes statewide. (In an enterprise zone, most authorized business firms can receive essentially the same but somewhat broader tax abatement using another form.)
Employer-provided Dependent Care Tax Credit – A 50% credit for the annual cost of assisting employees with childcare and similar needs.
Film & Video Incentives – Oregon offers a host of incentive programs for film and video productions taking place in the state. Incentive programs rebate:
- 20% of the production’s Oregon-based goods and services
- An additional cash payment of up to 16.2% of wages paid to production personnel
Unlike other states’ programs, these incentives are cash rebates as opposed to tax credits. This simplifies and speeds up the rebate process.
Renewable & Energy Efficiency Incentives
Business Energy Tax Credit (BETC) – Business Oregon offers the Business Energy Tax Credit to companies that invest in renewable energy-related manufacturing.
Rural Renewable Energy Development Zones – A 3- to 5-year exemption from property taxes on new investments in wind-energy farms, biofuel production and other eligible projects in a designated county.
State Energy Loan Program (SELP) – for renewable energy, including manufacturing facilities. Loans have been as short as 10 years and as long as 30 years, depending on the borrower’s need and financial situation, and have been as large as $20 million. The Oregon Department of Energy finances these low-interest loans through the issuance of state general obligation bonds. Renewable Energy Policies – Creating Demand
Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) – Oregon has one of the most aggressive renewable energy policies in the nation. This standard requires that electric utilities must meet at least 25% of their Oregon load with renewable energy by the year 2025. Virtually all of Oregon’s electric load growth must come from new renewable energy. The standard also provides a goal that at least 1/3 of these targets be met by resources smaller than 25 megawatts in size. Solar energy counts double towards meeting the targets.
Feed-in Tariff – In 2009 Oregon enacted one of the first Feed-in Tariffs in the U.S. for photovoltaic systems. The law establishes a pilot feed-in tariff PDF for each investor-owned utility in the state. Under this pilot program, each qualifying system may be up to half a megawatt in size, with a maximum of 25 megawatts in total statewide capacity. By 2020, these utilities must have at least 20 megawatts in total capacity for solar photovoltaics from projects between half a megawatt and 5 megawatts, in size.
Energy Trust of Oregon – A non-profit organization, funded through fees paid by utility ratepayers, the Energy Trust of Oregon offers services, cash incentives and solutions to customers of Portland General Electric, Pacific Power, NW Natural and Cascade Natural Gas for saving energy and tapping renewable resources.
Residential Energy Tax Credit (RETC) – This income tax credit for homeowners and renters is for premium-efficiency appliances and equipment, and renewable energy systems, installed in Oregon residences.
USDA Rural Development
USDA Rural Development delivers a variety of assistance to rural businesses and communities. USDA staff administers a variety Federal loan guarantee, loan, and grant programs designed to create and retain jobs, support business and cooperative development, and promote sustainable economic progress in Oregon’s rural communities.