Oregon has no sales tax. State income tax rate is 9%. Vehicle
registration tags are around $35.00 and good for two years. Property tax
rate for residential property is capped at 1.5%.
land is zoned Exclusive Farm Use (EFU) and enjoys a farm deferral status,
which lowers the property tax rate substantially, as long as the property
is in agricultural use. Growing wine grapes is treated as an agricultural
use. A bill passed by the 1999 Oregon legislature to exempt personal
property (winery equipment) from county personal property taxes was vetoed
by Governor John Kitzhaber.
Currently, state regulations are very strict about building a home on
agricultural property. Basically, in order to build a home on property
zoned as EFU you must:
have an existing home or mobile home on
the property, which you may either live-in or expand, or remove and
rebuild at the site of your choice on your property;
have an existing homesite approval for
or prove a gross agricultural income of
$80,000 from the property for the last two years, or three years of
the last five years. The latter can be achieved in five years with 30
acres of grapes.
Should you want to buy only a portion of a larger parcel, remember the
various counties have minimum lot size requirements in their zoning
Winery building permits
If you have 15 acres of grapes in the
ground in an EFU zone, the right to build a winery is an outright
A permit can also be obtained by way of a Conditional Use Permit, which is
a county government process that is primarily dependent upon the goodwill
of your neighbors and any other special interest group. The rule here is:
find out who your potential enemies are, and make them your friends.
Food service issues in a winery are county-regulated. Catered functions
are generally acceptable and common. Many wineries are available for
special occasions, such as weddings, banquets, and concerts.