Portland Enterprise Zone

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Portland Enterprise Zone2024-03-12T16:02:52-07:00

Portland Enterprise Zone Program

Contact Anne Crispino-Taylor, E-Zone Program Coordinator, email or 503-823-3268

The Enterprise Zone (E-Zone) Program is a state economic development program that allows property tax exemptions for up to five years in exchange for job creation and public benefits.

The Portland Enterprise Zone exists primarily to incentivize firms by offering local property tax exemptions to invest in new construction and personal property to create quality jobs.  The E-Zone geography has evolved over time, most recently with the 2023 addition of areas of downtown Portland, to encourage firms to invest in growth in core business districts and revitalize the Central City.

In 2017, the program embedded public benefit agreements in the requirements, which represented a shift from transactional to more relationship-focused economic development and gained attention among economic development practitioners. The changes require locally rooted partnerships and organized stakeholders that deliver shared value to businesses, workers, and communities.

Prosper Portland’s engagement with dozens of non-profits related to entrepreneurship, workforce development, education, and social justice and community building allows businesses to quickly find the right partnerships to succeed in meeting public benefits requirements.

How the E-Zone Works for Companies

The E-Zone program allows qualified firms that will be making a substantial new capital investment a waiver of 100 percent of the amount of real property taxes attributable to the new investment for a five-year period after completion. Land or existing machinery or equipment is not tax exempt.

The tax liability for a new capital investment is around 1.5 percent of the value of that investment. So, a $20 million investment would typically produce a tax liability of around $300,000 a year. Once the five-year period is over, the improvements, along with the rest of the property, are fully taxed for the life of the improvements. After five years, the entire asset enters the tax rolls. Hence the short-term waiver of local taxes results in a long-term return to the local taxing jurisdictions.

How the E-Zone Benefits Portland

Since 1986, more than 100 companies have participated in the Portland E-Zone program, and approximately 45 projects are active. Since 2010, the City’s E-Zone program has leveraged nearly $2 billion in private investments which have created and retained between five and ten thousand full-time, quality jobs.

Companies have invested anywhere from $100,000 to $200 million in facilities, equipment, and machinery as part of their E-Zone qualified investments. These firms could invest anywhere in the world. Their local investment demonstrates the power of the E-Zone program as the City’s best economic development tool for attracting industrial sector businesses to establish and grow in Portland.

In addition to the private investment and job creation requirements, the public benefits derived from the E-Zone program include:

Applying and Qualifying for the Portland E-Zone Program

Interested in applying?

Step 1: Find out if your company is in the E-Zone

  1. View the E-Zone map.
  2. Search for your property address to determine if it is within one of the shaded E-Zone areas.

Step 2:

Contact Anne Crispino-Taylor, Portland E-Zone Program Coordinator at 503-823-3268 or via e-mail to begin the application process, get estimates, and learn about compliance.

Please do not apply without initiating the intake process with the E-Zone Program Coordinator.

E-Zone Toolkit

The Portland E-Zone is a five-year property tax abatement program. To qualify, a firm must be making new investment in construction or equipment to leased or owned property within the E-Zone boundary and must be creating new or additional employment. Once an authorized company enters the program it will receive full tax abatement on all qualified property for five years, consecutively, as long as Annual Compliance with program requirements is met.

Eligibility Process Documents

  • Map your property
    Search for your property address to determine if it is within one of the shaded E-Zone areas.


State Compliance Forms

Use yearly for five-year exemptions; submit between January 1 and April 30 in any given year

Construction-In-Progress (only applicable for companies using CIP-EZ)


Prosper Portland Policy, State Statute and Administrative Rules

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I know if it will be financially worthwhile for my company to participate in the Enterprise Zone program?2023-12-13T16:39:00-08:00

Ultimately, it is your companys decision as to whether you would like to participate in the program. In exchange for the tax abatement your company receives, you are required to meet program state and program requirements. 

No matter how large or small your potential investment, Prosper Portland staff can run an estimate of the benefits so that you can determine if you would like to participate in the program. 

Where can I find a State of Oregon E-Zone Authorization Application form?2017-03-09T15:11:07-08:00

Download the E-Zone Authorization Application. Additionally, read past the application to the attached instructions, which are very helpful to understand the E-Zone statutory rules.

Where can I find the Written Agreement?2023-09-29T12:05:50-07:00
Where can I find the state statute that governs Enterprise Zones?2023-09-29T12:01:52-07:00
How long does the typical E-Zone application process take?2017-04-24T11:54:17-07:00

Generally, the process takes between 8-12 weeks. However, the application process may occur at the same time project construction and hiring begins, as long as program requirements are met during these stages and an application is already submitted to Prosper Portland.

My company is eligible for the E-Zone, but I’ve already started construction. Can I still receive the tax exemptions?2016-07-11T22:43:34-07:00

Typically not. Companies wishing to access the program need to complete a simple, two page pre-certification application prior to breaking ground on new or expanded facilities. It is strongly recommended that pre-certification occur prior to obtaining building permits.

We’re purchasing an existing building within the E-Zone. We’ll be making minimal investments to the building and would like to receive the 5-year property tax abatement on the value of the real estate. Would the Enterprise Zone Program work?2017-04-24T11:55:47-07:00

No, the five-year property tax abatement would only apply to the new investment in the E-Zone – this can include tenant improvements that add value to the structure and fixed equipment and/or racking systems. Existing buildings and land would not qualify for the five-year property tax abatement; only the new investment that will be added to the tax rolls.

May my company use the E-Zone multiple times for future expansions?2016-07-11T22:44:15-07:00

Yes. Expansion projects for qualifying employers are eligible as long as the employer adds at least 10% to its existing workforce each time the program is used.

When the exemption period expires, does my property (building and equipment) come back on the tax roll?2017-05-07T03:06:34-07:00

Yes. Buildings and equipment are assessed throughout the exemption period, but come back on the tax rolls at a depreciated or appreciated value. During the period that a company participates in the E-Zone, property taxes on real and some personal property are exempted, not deferred.

Does the E-Zone take away from the existing tax base?2016-07-11T22:45:24-07:00

No, the Legislature, in coordination with cities and counties across Oregon, has structured the E-Zone to ensure that no property (land, buildings, equipment) previously on the tax rolls can be removed through an exemption process. Only new investment qualified by an application process with the local E-Zone Manager, and coordinated with local tax assessor (Multnomah County), can be exempted.

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