Importance of timber-related revenues to local governments in Oregon and the effects of forests in Oregon on property tax rates Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/zk51vm71s

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  • Local governments in Oregon receive money from the forestry sector in a number of ways. This paper briefly describes public and private forestry sector sources and the relative importance of their payments to five forms of local governments by county for fiscal year 1982-83 to 1985-86. An analysis of the contribution of forestry sector 1986-87 property tax payments to statewide property taxes collections are also made. The forms of local government examined were county governments, schools, education service districts, rural fire protection districts and road districts. It was found that county governments tended to be very dependent on National Forest Revenue Sharing payments and O&C in-lieu of taxes payments. County governments received a much smaller proportion from other forestry related programs including from severance tax offsets. Twelve of Oregon's county governments relied on forestry sector payments for at least 40 percent of total revenues. National forests and O&C payments were found to be the most important of all timber revenues for county road maintenance. Dependency of schools on timber-derived revenues ranged from zero percent in Gilliam County to 21 percent of newly acquired revenue in Lake County. Severance tax offset money accounted for a very small percent of newly acquired school revenue over the period. Oregon ESDs, R.F.P.Ds. and road districts did not depend upon the revenues that were received from forestry sector sources for operational revenues to any large extent. Timber-related firms were found to be bearing a very significant portion of the property tax burden in a number of Oregon's counties during the 1986-87 tax year. Tax assessments to timber-related firms ranged from 23 percent of Clatsop county's total levy to 0 percent of the total levy in Gilliam County. Timber-related firms were determined to be a significant contributor to the financial support of local governments in many Oregon counties. It was further found that the presence of some of the publically-owned forest lands in Oregon were associated with lower tax rates. The presence of privately owned forests on the west side of the state did not appear to be affecting property tax rates over the study period. The presence of, and ultimately the severance tax offsets derived from harvests on privately owned forests on the eastern side of the state, however, appear to have lowered property tax rates over the study period.
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