ORS 321.703¹
Legislative findings and declarations

(1) The Legislative Assembly finds that:

(a) Oregon forests are dynamic ecosystems that make vital contributions to all Oregonians. Environmental benefits of forests include habitats for diverse life forms, clean and oxygenated air, clean, filtered and recycled water and stabilized productive soil. Economic benefits of forests include renewable raw material for paper and wood products used by everyone in daily living. Social benefits of forests include scenic landscapes and vistas, open space, solitude and outdoor recreation.

(b) Healthy productive forests provide a sustainable flow of goods, services, values and products.

(c) Private family and nonindustrial forestlands are important parts of the forest resource base of this state. Private family and nonindustrial forestlands make major contributions to the economy of this state and provide many other social and environmental benefits.

(d) Because of the wide array of management goals and objectives that apply to private family and nonindustrial forestlands, these forestlands provide a great range of valuable forest diversity across the landscape of this state.

(e) Many lower gradient streams, which are key components of numerous watersheds and are extremely important for some aquatic species, flow through private family and nonindustrial forestlands.

(f) The interests of this state, its residents and its future residents are best served by sustainable forest practices and taxing policies that encourage maintaining and establishing diverse forest resources for watersheds, commerce, recreation and stabilized employment levels. These practices and policies prevent shifts in population and encourage the processing of forest products within Oregon.

(g) Timber on private land that is managed on a sustainable basis should be treated as a crop and not taxed as real property.

(h) A tax imposed at the time of harvest coincides with the cash flow of small timber operations and recognizes the hazards and uncertainties involved in growing a long-term timber crop on a sustainable basis.

(2) The Legislative Assembly declares the purposes of the small tract forestland tax option program established under ORS 321.700 (Definitions for ORS 321.700 to 321.754) to 321.754 (Eastern Oregon Timber Severance Tax Fund) are to:

(a) Impose property taxes on forestland values that are annually determined and adjusted as described in ORS 321.201 (Definition of “forestland” for ORS 321.201 to 321.222) to 321.222 (Jurisdiction of board of property tax appeals) and then specially assessed; and

(b) Impose a severance tax on the harvesting of timber from small tract forestland in order to:

(A) Recognize the long-term nature of the forest crop and foster the public policy of this state to encourage the growing and harvesting of timber;

(B) Protect the public welfare by ensuring that the people of this state and future generations will have the benefits to be derived from the continuous production of forest products from privately held small tract forestland;

(C) Promote the public policy of this state to encourage forestry and the restocking of forestlands in order to provide present and future benefits, including but not limited to water supply enhancement, erosion prevention, wildlife habitat, scenic and recreational opportunities and needed forest products;

(D) Produce revenues for local taxing districts;

(E) Match the incidence of taxation with the realization of the economic benefits of harvest; and

(F) Encourage the establishment of new forests on denuded, nonstocked or underproducing forestland. [2003 c.454 §2; 2017 c.315 §28]

Chapter 321

Notes of Decisions

Programs administered by Depart­ment of Revenue that allow preferential assess­ment for farm and forestland are not “programs affecting land use” and are not subject to require­ment of statewide goal and local comprehensive plan compliance under ORS 197.180 (State agency planning responsibilities). Springer v. LCDC, 111 Or App 262, 826 P2d 54 (1992), Sup Ct review denied

Atty. Gen. Opinions

Validity of ad valorem and severance taxa­tion of logs destined for export, (1975) Vol 37, p 427

Law Review Cita­tions

16 WLR 397 (1979)

1 Legislative Counsel Committee, CHAPTER 321—Timber and Forestland Taxation, https://­www.­oregonlegislature.­gov/­bills_laws/­ors/­ors321.­html (2019) (last ac­cessed May 16, 2020).
2 Legislative Counsel Committee, Annotations to the Oregon Revised Stat­utes, Cumulative Supplement - 2019, Chapter 321, https://­www.­oregonlegislature.­gov/­bills_laws/­ors/­ano321.­html (2019) (last ac­cessed May 16, 2020).
3 OregonLaws.org assembles these lists by analyzing references between Sections. Each listed item refers back to the current Section in its own text. The result reveals relationships in the code that may not have otherwise been apparent. Currency Information