What is Business Personal Property?

Most people know that property tax applies to real property, such as land and buildings. However, some may not know that property tax also applies to Business Personal Property. The characteristic that distinguishes Business Personal Property from real property is mobility. Business Personal Property is property that is not affixed to, or part of, real estate. Business Personal Property may include but is not limited to furniture, fixtures, machinery, equipment, office equipment, etc.

For assessment and taxation purposes, when we speak of Personal Property we are effectively referring to Business Personal Property under current Oregon law. Taxable Business Personal Property includes machinery, equipment, furniture, etc. used by a business, including any property not currently being used, placed in storage, or held for sale. However, Business Personal Property taxes are not applicable to business inventories or intangible property such as copyrights and trademarks.

Business Personal Property is subject to the same levy rate as real property. By state law, the county assessor is responsible for the assessment of all taxable Business Personal Property. The Department of Revenue is also involved in the administration of property taxes and advises assessors on how to assess property to assure uniformity of assessment and taxation throughout the state.

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