Timber and Forestland Taxation

ORS 321.257
Definitions for ORS 321.257 to 321.390

As used in ORS 321.257 (Definitions for ORS 321.257 to 321.390) to 321.390 (Land used to grow certain hardwood to be assessed as farm use land), unless the context requires otherwise:


“Department” means the Department of Revenue.


“Forestland” means land in western Oregon that is being held or used for the predominant purpose of growing and harvesting trees of a marketable species and has been designated as forestland or land in western Oregon, the highest and best use of which is the growing and harvesting of such trees. Trees of a marketable species may vary in different areas in western Oregon and may change as the utilization of forest trees changes. The size, age, location, quality and condition of trees do not necessarily determine marketable species. Forestland often contains isolated openings which because of rock outcrops, river wash, swamps, chemical conditions of the soil, brush and other like conditions prevent adequate stocking of such openings for the production of trees of a marketable species. If the openings in their natural state are necessary to hold the surrounding forestland in forest use through sound management practices, the openings are deemed forestland. Forestland does not include buildings, structures, machinery, equipment or fixtures erected upon, under or above the soil. Forestland includes roads described in ORS 308.236 (Land values to reflect presence of roads).


“Land class” or “land classes” means one of the eight classifications of forestland, used for assessment purposes by the department, based upon State Tax Commission Valuation Division Supplements published in 1967, and identified in ORS 321.210 (Proposed specially assessed values).


“State Forester” means the State Forester or the authorized representative of the State Forester.


“Sustained yield management” means the growing and harvesting of timber crops on a continuous basis on land that is primarily dedicated to timber production.


“Taxing district” or “district” means each county, city, school district and other corporation vested with the power to levy property taxes in western Oregon.


“Timber” means all logs which can be measured in board feet and other forest products as determined by department rule.


“Western Oregon” means that portion of the state lying west of a line beginning at the intersection of the northern boundary of the State of Oregon and the western boundary of Wasco County, thence southerly along the western boundaries of the counties of Wasco, Jefferson, Deschutes and Klamath to the southern boundary of the State of Oregon. [1977 c.892 §1; 1983 c.539 §2; 1985 c.759 §18; 1989 c.1083 §1; 1993 c.653 §6; 1993 c.801 §1; 1999 c.1078 §12; 2003 c.621 §1]

Notes of Decisions

Land for which highest and best use is growing of trees does not qualify as forestland absent application for designation as forestland. Marchel v. Dept. of Revenue, 9 OTR 317 (1983)

In determining whether isolated opening is forestland, consideration is given to effect of opening on forestland, but not effect of forestland on opening. Dept. of Revenue v. Rankin, 17 OTR 124 (2003)

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. 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)


Last accessed
Jun. 26, 2021