OAN issued the following press release this afternoon:
The Oregon Association of Nurseries (OAN) and its more than 1,300 members are grateful that Gov. Ted Kulongoski signed a bill protecting nurseries against the threat of an unfair new tax, OAN Director of Government Relations Jeff Stone said today.
“Many of our growers are relieved they won’t be subjected to an additional property tax assessment against hoop houses, which are temporary structures used to protect plants and extend the growing season,” Stone said. “When the state Department of Revenue proposed taxing hoop houses as if they were permanent structures, our members said it was unacceptable.”
Earlier this year the state Department of Revenue proposed new rulemaking that would have assessed nurseries for the value of hoop houses, which are metal frames enclosed in plastic film. The structures are not heated except by the sun, but they do increase the competitiveness of Oregon nurseries and increase sales. Three quarters of all Oregon nursery products are sold to out-of-state buyers.
The OAN government relations team worked with the Oregon Farm Bureau Federation and leaders from both major political parties to make sure such a tax would not be imposed. The result was House Bill 2904, which passed 59-0 in the House and 28-0 in the Senate. Gov. Kulongoski signed it into law on July 22.
“Our growers are productive, hardworking contributors to the Oregon economy as well as the environment,” Stone said. “A tax like this, at a time like this, was the last thing they needed, particularly after so many suffered losses in the winter storms. Fortunately both houses of the Legislature heard us loud and clear, and so did the governor.”