(1)(a) Any eligible business firm seeking to have property exempt from property taxation under ORS 285C.175 (Enterprise zone exemption) shall, before the commencement of direct site preparation activities or the construction, addition, modification or installation of qualified property in an enterprise zone, and before the hiring of eligible employees, apply for authorization under this section.
The application shall be made on a form prescribed by the Department of Revenue and the Oregon Business Development Department.
The application shall be filed with the sponsor of the zone. A sponsor may require that the application filed with the sponsor be accompanied by a filing fee. If required, the filing fee may not exceed the greater of $200 or one-tenth of one percent of the value of the investment in qualified property that is proposed in the application for authorization. The filing fee may be required for the filing of applications only after the sponsor adopts a policy, consistent with Oregon Business Development Department rules, authorizing the imposition of the filing fee.
The application shall contain the following information:
A description of the nature of the firm’s current and proposed business operations inside the boundary of the enterprise zone;
A description and estimated value of the qualified property to be constructed, added, modified or installed inside the boundary of the enterprise zone;
The number of employees of the firm that the firm employs within the enterprise zone, averaged over the previous 12 months, and an estimate of the number of employees that the firm will hire;
Any other information considered necessary by the Department of Revenue and the Oregon Business Development Department.
After an application is submitted to a sponsor, the business firm may revise or amend the application. An amendment or revision may not be made on or after January 1 of the first assessment year for which the qualified property associated with the application is exempt under ORS 285C.175 (Enterprise zone exemption).
If an application for authorization appears to be complete and the proposed investment appears to be eligible for authorization, the sponsor and the business firm shall conduct a preauthorization conference. The assessor of the county in which the property will be located shall be timely notified and have the option to participate in the conference. The conference shall:
Identify issues with the potential to affect compliance with relevant exemption requirements, including but not limited to enterprise zone boundary amendments;
Arrange for methods and procedures to establish and verify compliance with applicable requirements; and
Identify the person who is obligated to notify the county assessor if requirements are not satisfied.
Upon completion of the preauthorization conference required under subsection (4) of this section, the sponsor shall prepare a written summary of the conference, attach the summary to the application and forward the application to the county assessor for review.
Following the preauthorization conference under subsection (4) of this section, the sponsor and the county assessor shall authorize the business firm by approving the application, if the sponsor and county assessor determine that:
The firm has made the commitments and provided the other information required under subsection (2) of this section.
If the business firm seeking authorization is an eligible business firm described in ORS 285C.135 (Requirements for eligibility) (5)(b), the sponsor must, as a condition of approving the application, make a formal finding that the business firm is an eligible business firm under ORS 285C.135 (Requirements for eligibility) and that the size of the proposed investment, the employment at the facility of the firm or the nature of the activities to be undertaken by the firm within the enterprise zone will significantly enhance the local economy, promote the purposes for which the zone was created and increase employment within the zone.
The approval of both the sponsor and the county assessor under this section shall be prima facie evidence that the qualified property of the business firm will receive the property tax exemption under ORS 285C.175 (Enterprise zone exemption). In approving the application, the sponsor and county assessor shall provide proof of approval as directed by the Oregon Business Development Department.
If the sponsor or county assessor fails or refuses to authorize the business firm, the business firm may appeal to the Oregon Tax Court under ORS 305.404 (Oregon Tax Court) to 305.560 (Appeals procedure generally). The business firm shall provide copies of the firm’s appeal to the sponsor, county assessor, the Department of Revenue and the Oregon Business Development Department.
Authorization under this section does not ensure that property constructed, added, modified or installed by the authorized business firm will receive property tax exemption under ORS 285C.175 (Enterprise zone exemption). The sponsor and the county assessor are not liable in any way if the Department of Revenue or the county assessor later determines that an authorized business firm does not satisfy the requirements for an exemption on qualified property.
Late submission of an application under this section is allowed if:
A rule permits late submissions of applications under this section; or
The Department of Revenue waives filing deadline requirements under this section. The department shall issue a letter to the eligible business firm and zone sponsor setting forth the waiver under this paragraph. [Formerly 285B.719; 2017 c.83 §1]