Columbia County Courthouse

230 Strand Street, St. Helens, OR 97051 • Phone: (503) 397-7210 • Toll Free: (888) 397-7210

Columbia County

Property Tax Exemption Programs

Disabled Veteran or Surviving Spouse of a Veteran

If you are a disabled veteran or the surviving spouse of a veteran, you may be entitled to the Veteran's Property Tax Exemption offered by the State of Oregon. Your are eligible for this exemption if:

  • You must be a disabled veteran with a 40% disability documented with the Department of Veteran Affairs, discharged honorably or be the surviving spouse remaining unmarried of an honorably discharged veteran.
  • The applicant must own and live on the property.

If you meet the above criteria, a portion of the assessed value of your residential property would be exempt from property tax.  You must file an application with the County Assessor between January 1 and April1 for the following tax year.  More Information can be found in the Department of Revenue Publication, Disabled Veteran or Surviving Spouse Property Tax Exemption.

Active Military Service Members

You are eligible for this exemption if:

  • You are an Oregon resident;
  • You own your home and it is your primary residence;
  • You live in your home except when away performing military service;
  • You are serving in the Oregon National Guard or military reserve forces; You are ordered to federal active duty (Title 10) or deployed under the Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC) on or after January 1, 2005 (if you are in regular active enlistment or on a regular tour of duty, you do not qualify); and
  • You are ordered to serve under Title 10 status or EMAC deployment for more than 178 consecutive days.

If you meet the above criteria, a portion of the assessed value of your residential property would be exempt from property tax.  You must file a claim with the Assessor's Office for each tax year during which you served, or will serve, at least one day of your qualified service.

Property Tax Exemptions for Specified Organizations

Oregon laws provide a property tax exemption for property owned, being purchased or leased by certain qualifying organizations.  The most common qualifying entities are:

  • Religious
  • Fraternal
  • Literary
  • Benevolent or Charitable Organizations
  • Scientific Institutions
  • Schools

There are specific eligibility requirements for each organization.  For more information, see the Department of Revenue publication, Property Tax Exemptions for Specified Organizations.

Federal, State and Local Government Property

Federal, State and Local Government Property is exempt without application.  However, if any portion of the property is leased to a taxable owner, that portion is no longer exempt.  For non-profit organizations that lease from a federal, state or local government entity, they may be eligible for exemption if they file an application and can meet the qualifications for Property Tax Exemptions for Specified Organizations.

Oregon Enterprise Zone Exemption

Oregon's enterprise zones offer a unique resource to Oregon communities, and an excellent opportunity for businesses growing or relocating in Oregon. Primarily, enterprise zones exempt businesses from local property taxes on new investments.  In Columbia County, there are currently two enterprise zones, South Columbia County, which serves areas of Scappoose, Saint Helens and Columbia City, and Lower Columbia Martime, which serves areas of Rainier, Clatskanie, Port Westward and Wauna Industrial Park.  For more information on Oregon Enterprise Zone Exemption, please visit Business Oregon.

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