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Chapter 7.02 Business License Law

City Code Chapter

(Chapter replaced by Ordinance 182137, effective September 19, 2008.)

7.02.010 Fees for Revenue.

  1. The term “license” as used in the Business License Law does not mean a permit, nor is it regulatory in any manner. It is strictly for revenue purposes.

7.02.020 Conformity to State Income Tax Laws.

(Amended by Ordinance 187339, effective October 16, 2015.)  

  1. The Business License Law is construed in conformity with the laws and regulations of the State of Oregon imposing taxes on or measured by net income.  Any reference in this Chapter to the laws of the State of Oregon means the laws of the State of Oregon imposing taxes on or measured by net income as those laws existed for that particular tax year. The Division has the authority by written policy to connect to and/or disconnect from any legislative enactment that deals with income or excise taxation or the definition of net income.  Should a question arise under the Business License Law on which this Chapter is silent, the Division may look to the laws of the State of Oregon for guidance in resolving the question, provided that the determination under State law is not in conflict with any provision of this Chapter or the State law is otherwise inapplicable.

7.02.100 Definitions.

(Amended by Ordinances 184597, 187339, 189389, 189794190129, 191010191011191486 and 191586, effective February 16, 2024.)

  1. The terms used in this Chapter are defined as provided in this section or in Administrative Rules adopted under Section 7.02.210, unless the context requires otherwise:
  2. A. “Division” means the Revenue Division of the City of Portland, Oregon Bureau of Revenue and Financial Services, along with its employees and agents.
  3. B. “Business income” has the same meaning as “apportionable income” defined in Oregon Revised Statutes 314.610.
  4. C. “Business tax” means the tax owed by a taxfiler for any particular license tax year.
  5. D. “Business” means an enterprise, activity, profession or undertaking of any nature, whether related or unrelated, by a person in the pursuit of profit, gain, or the production of income, including services performed by an individual for remuneration, but does not include wages earned as an employee.
  6. E. “Certificate of Compliance” means the document (or license) issued to a taxfiler upon full compliance with the Business License Law for the license tax year in question.
  7. F. “Controlling Shareholder” means any person, alone or together with that person’s spouse, parents, and/or children, who, directly or indirectly, owns more than five (5) percent of any class of outstanding stock or securities of the taxfiler.  The term “controlling shareholder” may mean the controlling shareholder individually or in the aggregate.
  8. G. “Day” means a calendar day unless otherwise noted.
  9. H. “Director” means the Director of the Revenue Division or his or her designee.
  10. I. “Doing Business” means to engage in any activity in pursuit of profit or gain, including but not limited to, any transaction involving the holding, sale, rental or lease of property, the manufacture or sale of goods or the sale or rendering of services other than as an employee.  Doing business includes activities carried on by a person through officers, agents or employees as well as activities carried on by a person on his or her own behalf.
  11. J. “Employee” means any individual who performs services for another individual or organization and whose compensation is reported by an IRS Form W-2.
  12. K. “In Compliance” means that:
    1. 1. a non-exempt business has filed and paid the current year’s required business tax; or
    2. 2. a non-exempt business has filed and paid the previous year’s required business tax and has met the current year filing requirements; or
    3. 3. an exempt business has filed the required income verification; or
    4. 4. a new business has filed a completed registration form and is otherwise in compliance with all provisions of the Business License Law.
  13. L. “Income” means the net income arising from any business, as reportable to the State of Oregon for personal income, corporation excise or income tax purposes, before any allocation or apportionment for operation out of state, or deduction for a net operating loss carry-forward or carry-back.
  14. M. “Individual” means a natural person, including natural persons who report their income to the State of Oregon in a joint personal state income tax return.  In such case, the term “individual” shall refer to the joint taxfiler.
  15. N. “Large Retailer” means a business that:
    1. 1. is subject to the Portland Business License Tax; and
    2. 2. for tax years beginning before January 1, 2023, has:
      1. a. total gross income, as reported per Section 7.02.610, from Retail Sales of $1 billion or more in the tax year; and

        b. Portland gross income, as reported per Section 7.02.610, from Retail Sales of $500,000 or more in the tax year; or

    3. 3. for tax years beginning on or after January 1, 2023, has:
      1. a. total sales, as reported per Section 7.02.611, from Retail Sales of $1 billion or more in the tax year; and

        b. Portland sales, as reported per Section 7.02.611, from Retail Sales of $500,000 or more in the tax year.

    4. 4. the term “Large Retailer” does not include:
      1. a. any manufacturer or other business that is not engaged in Retail Sales within the City;
      2. b. any contractor as defined under ORS 701.005(5);
      3. c. any entity operating a utility within the City;
      4. d. any cooperative recognized under state or federal law; or
      5. e. a federal or state credit union
  16. O. “License Tax Year” means the taxable year of a person for federal or state income tax purposes.
  17. P. “Net Operating Loss” means the negative taxable income that may result after the deductions allowed by the Business License Law in determining net income for the tax year.
  18. Q. “Non-business income” has the same meaning as “nonapportionable income” defined in Oregon Revised Statutes 314.610.
  19. R. “Notice” means a written document mailed by first class by the Division to the last known address of a taxfiler as provided to the Division in the latest registration form or tax return on file with the Division. Alternatively, notice may be delivered in person, by facsimile, email, or other means with taxfiler consent.
  20. S. “Ownership of Outstanding Stock or Securities” means the incidents of ownership which include the power to vote on the corporation’s business affairs or the power to vote for the directors, officers, operators or other managers of the taxfiler.
  21. T. “Person” includes, but is not limited to, an individual, a natural person, sole proprietorship, partnership, limited partnership, family limited partnerships, association, cooperative, trust, estate, corporation, personal holding company, limited liability company, limited liability partnership or any other form of organization for doing business.
  22. U. “Qualified Groceries” means food products that qualify for purchase under the U.S. Department of Agriculture Supplemental Nutritionals Assistance Program (“SNAP”).
  23. V. “Qualified Medicine or Drugs” means any medicine, drugs, or medical devices that are regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as a medicine or drug.
  24. W. “Qualified Health Care Services” means any services that involves the provision of health care to the public, including but not limited to doctor, medical clinic and hospital visits and all related services, health insurance, and any care provided by senior care facilities or rehabilitation facilities. This definition includes but is not limited to all services defined as “health care services” under ORS 750.005(5).
  25. X. “Qualified Residential Garbage or Recycling Services” means any services provided by a business that are governed by PCC 17.102.140 or PCC 17.102.170.
  26. Y. “Qualified Retirement Plan” has the same meaning as prescribed in IRC § 401.
  27. Z. “Received” means the postmark date affixed by the United States Postal Service if mailed or the date stamp if delivered by hand or sent by facsimile, or the receipt date from the online file and pay application confirmation notice.
  28. AA. “Registration Form” means the initial form that establishes a taxfiler’s account with the Division.
  29. BB. “Residential Rental Unit” means a “dwelling unit” as defined by ORS 90.100, and subject to Oregon’s Residential Landlord and Tenant Act in ORS Chapter 90, that is rented or offered for rent for a period of more than 30 consecutive days.
  30. CC. “Retail Gross Revenue” means Retail Sales excluding the deductions outlined in Subsection 7.02.500 F.3.
  31. DD. “Retail Sale” means a sale to a consumer for use or consumption, and not for resale. Retail Sale also includes but is not limited to the sale of services, including but not limited to retail banking services.
  32. EE. “Tax return” means any tax return filed by or due from the taxfiler, including an annual exemption request form.
  33. FF. “Tax Year” means the taxable year of a person for Federal and/or State income tax purposes.
  34. GG. “Taxfiler” means a person doing business within the City and required to file a return, a registration form or other income documentation under the Business License Law.

7.02.110 Income Defined.

(Amended by Ordinances 183727, 187339 and 190129, effective October 16, 2020.)

  1. A. Partnerships, S corporations, limited liability companies, limited liability partnerships, family limited partnerships, estates, and trusts are liable for the business license tax and not the individual partners, shareholders, members, beneficiaries or owners. The income of these entities must include all incomes received by the entity, including ordinary income, interest and dividend incomes, income from sales of business assets and other incomes attributable to the entity. For income purposes, a limited liability company is deemed to be the tax entity that includes the income of the limited liability company in its federal tax return – if the limited liability company will be disregarded as a separate tax entity.
  2. B. If one or more persons are required or elect to report their income to the State of Oregon for corporation excise or income tax purposes or personal income tax purposes in a consolidated, combined or joint return, a single license certificate will be issued to the person filing such return. In such cases, “income” means the net income of the consolidated, combined or joint group of tax filers before any allocation or apportionment for operation out of the state, or deduction for a net operating loss carry-forward or carry-back.
  3. C. The absence of reporting income to the Internal Revenue Service or the State of Oregon does not limit the ability of the Division to determine the correct income of the taxfiler through examination under Section 7.02.260.

7.02.200 Administration.

(Amended by Ordinances 187339 and 190129, effective October 16, 2020.)

  1. A.  The Division is responsible for administering the Business License Law.  Authority granted to the Director may be delegated, in writing, to another employee within the Division.
  2. B.  The Division may, upon request, interpret how the Business License Law applies, in general or for a certain set of circumstances.
  3. C.  Nothing in this Chapter precludes the informal disposition of controversy by stipulation or agreed settlement, through correspondence or a conference with the Director.

7.02.210 Administrative Authority.

(Amended by Ordinance 187339, effective October 16, 2015.)

  1. A.  The Director may implement procedures, forms, and written policies for administering the provisions of the Business License Law. 
  2. B.  The Director may adopt rules relating to matters within the scope of this Chapter to administer compliance with Business License Law.  
  3. C.  Before adopting a new rule, the Director must hold a public hearing.  Prior to the hearing, the Director will publish a notice in a newspaper of general circulation in the City.  The notice must be published not less than ten nor more than thirty days before the hearing, and it must include the place, time and purpose of the public hearing, a brief description of the subjects covered by the proposed rule, and the location where copies of the full text of the proposed rule may be obtained.  
  4. D.  At the public hearing, the Director or designee will receive oral and written testimony concerning the proposed rule.  The Director will either adopt the proposed rule, modify it or reject it, taking into consideration the testimony received during the public hearing.  If a substantial modification is made, additional public review will be conducted, but no additional public notice is required if an announcement is made at the hearing of a future hearing for a date, time and place certain at which the modification will be discussed.  Unless otherwise stated, all rules are effective upon adoption by the Director.  All rules adopted by the Director will be filed in the Division’s office.  Copies of all current rules will be made available to the public upon request.  
  5. E.  Notwithstanding Subsections C. and D. of this Section, the Director may adopt an interim rule without prior public notice upon a finding that failure to act promptly will result in serious prejudice to the public interest or the interest of the affected parties, stating the specific reasons for such prejudice.  Any interim rule adopted pursuant to this paragraph is effective for a period of not longer than 180 days.

7.02.220 Presumption of Doing Business.

(Amended by Ordinance 184597, effective June 17, 2011.)  

  1. A person is presumed to be doing business in the City and subject to this Chapter if engaged in any of the following activities:
  2. A.  Advertising or otherwise professing to be doing business within the City; or
  3. B.  Delivering goods or providing services to customers within the City; or
  4. C.  Owning, leasing, or renting personal or real property within the City; or
  5. D.  Engaging in any transaction involving the production of income from holding property or the gain from the sale of property, which is not otherwise exempted in this Chapter.  Property may be personal, including intangible or real in nature; or
  6. E.  Engaging in any activity in pursuit of gain which is not otherwise exempted in this Chapter. 

7.02.230 Confidentiality.

(Amended by Ordinances 185312, 187339 and 191745, effective June 5, 2024.)

  1. A.  In accordance with ORS 314.835, except as otherwise specifically provided by Oregon law or Section 7.02.240 and related rules or written policies, it is unlawful for the Revenue Division or any officer or employee of the division to divulge or make known in an manner the amount of income, expense, deduction, exclusion or credit or any particulars set forth or disclosed in any report or return required in the administration of any tax, surcharge or fee imposed under the Business License Law.   
  2. B.  It is unlawful for any City employee, agent or elected official, or for any person who has acquired information pursuant to Subsection 7.02.240 B., to divulge, release or make known in any manner any information submitted or disclosed to the City under the terms of the Business License Law for any purpose other than that specified in the provisions of law authorizing the use or disclosure. 
  3. C.  No subpoena or judicial order shall be issued compelling the division or any of its officers or employees, or any person who has acquired information pursuant to Section 7.02.240 or any other provision of state or City law, to divulge or make known the amount of income, expense, deduction, exclusion or credit or any particulars set forth or disclosed in any report or return except where the taxfiler’s liability for any tax, surcharge or fee imposed under the Business License Law is to be adjudicated by the court from which such process issues. 
  4. D.  As used in this Section: 
    1. 1.  “Officer,” “employee” or “person” includes an authorized representative of the officer, employee or person, or any former officer, employee or person, or an authorized representative of such former officer, employee or person.
    2. 2.  “Particulars” includes, but is not limited to, a taxfiler’s name, address, telephone number, Social Security number, employer identification number or other taxfiler identification number, the amount of refund claimed by or granted to a taxfiler, and whether a report or return has been filed.

7.02.240 Persons to Whom Information May be Furnished.

(Amended by Ordinances 187339 and 191745, effective June 5, 2024.)

  1. A.  The Revenue Division may:
    1. 1.  Furnish any taxfiler, representative authorized to represent the taxfiler under ORS 305.239 or person designated by the taxfiler under ORS 305.193, upon request of the taxfiler, representative or designee, with a copy of the taxfiler’s tax return filed with the division for any year, or with a copy of any report filed by the taxfiler in connection with the return, or with any other information the division considers necessary.
    2. 2.  Publish lists of taxfilers who are entitled to unclaimed tax refunds.
    3. 3.  Publish statistics so classified as to prevent the identification of income or any particulars contained in any report or return.
    4. 4.  Disclose a taxfiler’s name, address, telephone number, refund amount, amount due, Social Security number, employer identification number or other taxfiler identification number to the extent necessary in connection with collection activities or the processing and mailing of correspondence or of forms for any report or return required in the administration of any local tax. 
  2. B.  Only to the extent necessary to meet the business purpose of the disclosure, the division also may disclose and give access to information described in Subsection 7.02.230 A. to: 
    1. 1. The Commissioner of Internal Revenue or authorized representative, for tax administration and compliance purposes only.
    2. 2. The Oregon Department of Revenue or authorized representative, for tax administration and compliance purposes only.
    3. 3. For tax administration and compliance purposes, the proper officer or authorized representative of any of the following entities that has or is governed by a provision of law that meets the requirements of any applicable provision of the Internal Revenue Code as to confidentiality:
      1. a. A state;
      2. b. A city, county or other political subdivision of a state;
      3. c. The District of Columbia; or
      4. d. An association established exclusively to provide services to federal, state or local taxing authorities.
    4. 4. The City Attorney, the attorney’s assistants and employees, or other legal representatives of the City, to the extent the division deems disclosure or access necessary for the performance of the duties of advising or representing the division, including but not limited to instituting legal actions on unpaid accounts.    
    5. 5. The attorney, the attorney’s assistants and employees, or other legal representatives of a local government that the City administers a tax for, to the extent the division deems disclosure or access is necessary for consultation and advice in tax administration of the local government’s tax. Any disclosure under this paragraph may be made only pursuant to a written agreement between the division and the city, county, or other subdivision that ensures the confidentiality of the information disclosed.
    6. 6. The proper officer or authorized representative of a city, county, or other subdivision of this state, to the extent the division deems disclosure or access necessary for purposes of administration of a tax on behalf of the city, county, or other subdivision. Any disclosure under this paragraph may be made only pursuant to a written agreement between the division and the city, county, or other subdivision that ensures the confidentiality of the information disclosed.
    7. 7. Prosper Portland or its authorized representative, for the purposes of economic and business development, the name and address of active businesses, and statistics so classified as to prevent the identification of income or other particulars contained in any report or return.
    8. 8. The Portland Housing Bureau or its authorized representative, for the purposes of official correspondence and to manage the Residential Rental Registration Program, the name and address of active businesses filing a Schedule R and Schedule R information. This information may be used to maintain the inventory of residential rental housing within the City for the bureau’s use and for statistical purposes and trending analysis, but may not otherwise be shared publicly.      
    9. 9. The authorized representative of any subdivision of the City, for the purposes of official correspondence or developing funding proposals, the name and address of active businesses, and statistics so classified as to prevent the identification of income or other particulars contained in any report or return.
    10. 10. The Auditor or their authorized representative, to the extent pursuant to City Charter, Chapter 2, Article 5.
    11. 11. The Revenue Division Appeals Board (appeals board), per Section 7.02.295, is authorized to receive relevant tax information for the purpose of considering and issuing decisions with respect to appeals of taxfilers to Revenue Division actions increasing tax due or reducing a refund of taxes paid. The appeals board is a public body subject to Oregon public meeting laws in ORS 192.610 to 192.705. ORS 192.660(2)(f) authorizes an executive session meeting to privately consider records or information that are exempt by law from public disclosure. Tax information is exempt from public disclosure.
    12. 12. The City Bureau of Technology Services or its authorized representative, for the purpose of managing access, security and communications.
    13. 13. Authorized City procurement employees and agents, for the purpose of determining whether a potential City vendor is in compliance with the requirements of PCC 5.33.500 A.4.a. and b.
    14. 14. City Printing and Distribution employees and agents, for the purpose of printing and mailing notices that may contain confidential information.
    15. 15. City Treasury and Central Accounting employees and agents, for the purpose of performing functions related to the issuance of refunds.
    16. 16. City Payroll employees and agents, for the purpose of reconciling withholding of City employees.
    17. 17. Other persons, partnerships, corporations and other legal entities, and their employees, to the extent the division deems disclosure or access necessary for the performance of such others’ duties under contracts or agreements between the division and such legal entities, in the division’s administration of the tax laws.
  3. C.  Each officer or employee of the division and each person described or referred to in Subsections B.4. to 17. of this Section to whom disclosure or access to the tax information is given under Subsection B. of this Section or any other provision of law, prior to beginning employment or the performance of duties involving such disclosure or access, shall be advised in writing of the provisions of Sections 7.02.230 and 7.02.730, relating to penalties for the violation of Section 7.02.230, and shall as a condition of employment or performance of duties execute a certificate for the division, in a form prescribed by the division, stating in substance that the person has read these provisions of law, that the person has had them explained and that the person is aware of the penalties for the violation of Section 7.02.230.

7.02.250 Taxfiler Representation.

(Amended by Ordinance 187339, effective October 16, 2015.) 

  1. No person will be recognized as representing any taxfiler in regard to any matter relating to the tax of such taxfiler without written authorization of the taxfiler or unless the Division determines from other available information the person has authority to represent the taxfiler.

7.02.255 Representation Restrictions.

(Amended by Ordinance 187339, effective October 16, 2015.) 

  1. A.  No employee or official of the City may represent any taxfiler in any matter before the Division.  The restriction against taxfiler representation continues for two years after termination of employment or official status.  
  2. B.  Members of the Appeals Board, as described in Section 7.02.295 of the Business License Law can not represent a taxfiler before the Appeals Board.  No member of the Appeals Board can participate in any matter before the Board if the appellant is a client of the member or the member’s firm.

7.02.260 Information Request; Examination of Books, Records or Persons.

(Amended by Ordinances 183727 and 187339, effective October 16, 2015.) 

  1. A.  The Division may request information or examine any books, papers, records or memoranda, including state and federal income or excise tax returns, to ascertain the correctness of any license registration or tax return, or to make an estimate of any business tax.  The Division has the authority, after notice, to:
    1. 1.  Require the attendance of any person subject to the requirements of the Business License Law, or officers, agents, or other persons with knowledge of the person’s business operations, at any reasonable time and place the Division may designate;
    2. 2.  Take testimony, with or without the power to administer oaths to any person required to be in attendance; and
    3. 3.  Require proof for the information sought, necessary to carry out the provisions of this Chapter.
    4. 4.  Require the property manager of a tenants-in-common arrangement to provide financial information related to the arrangement as well as information regarding the owners, including but not limited to the name and last known address of the owners.
  2. B.  The Director will designate the employees that have the power to administer oaths hereunder.  Such employees must be notaries public of the State of Oregon.
  3. C.  The Division may require contact information, including but not limited to, business phone numbers and business email addresses for all officers and/or owners of businesses doing business in the City of Portland.  This information may be used by the City for any lawful purpose.

7.02.270 Records.

  1. Every person subject to the requirements of this Chapter must keep and preserve for not less than seven (7) years such documents and records, including state and federal income or excise tax returns, accurately supporting the information reported on the taxfiler’s registration form and/or tax returns, and the calculation of tax for such license tax year.

7.02.280 Deficiencies and Refunds.

(Amended by Ordinance 187339, effective October 16, 2015.)

  1. A.  Deficiencies may be assessed and refunds granted any time within the period provided under ORS 314.410, ORS 314.415, and ORS 317.950.  The Division may by agreement with the taxfiler extend such time periods to the same extent as provided by statute.
  2. B.  Consistent with ORS 314.410 (4), in cases where no tax return has been filed, there is no time limit for a notice of deficiency and/or the assessment of taxes, penalty, and interest due.
  3. C.  Notwithstanding Subsections A. and B., the Division is not required to accept any tax return from a taxfiler if:
    1. 1.  The Division obtains a money judgment against the taxfiler for failure to pay an unpaid account balance due; and
    2. 2.  The Division or its designee lawfully served the taxfiler with the lawsuit pursuant to the Oregon Rules of Civil Procedure; and
    3. 3.  The tax return is for a taxable year that is the subject of the money judgment; and
    4. 4.  The Division gave written notice stating that the taxfiler had an outstanding balance due at least 30 days before the Division (or its designee) filed a lawsuit for those particular tax years. 

7.02.290 Protests and Appeals.

(Amended by Ordinances 187339 and 191011, effective October 28, 2022.)

  1. A. Any determination by the Division may be protested by the taxfiler.  Written notice of the protest must be received by the Division within 30 days after the Division mailed or delivered the initial notice of determination to the taxfiler.  Failure to file such a written notice within the time permitted will be deemed a waiver of any objections, and the appeal will be dismissed.  The protest must state the name and address of the taxfiler and an explanation of the grounds for the protest.  The Division must respond within 180 days after the protest is filed with a final determination.  The Division’s final determination must include the reasons for the determination and state the time and manner for appealing the final determination.  The time to file a protest or the time for the Division’s response may be extended by the Division for good cause.  Requests for extensions of time must be received prior to the expiration of the original 30 day protest deadline.  Written notice will be given to the taxfiler if the Division’s deadline is extended.  
  2. B. Any final determination by the Division may be appealed by the taxfiler to the Revenue Division Appeals Board (the “Appeals Board”).  Written notice of the appeal must be received by the Division within 30 days after the Division mailed or delivered the final determination to the appellant.  The notice of appeal must state the name and address of the appealing taxfiler (“appellant”) and include a copy of the final determination.   
  3. C. Within 90 days after the Division mails or delivers the final determination to the appellant, the appellant must file with the Appeals Board a written statement containing:
    1. 1. The reasons the Division’s determination is incorrect, and
    2. 2. What the correct determination should be.
    3. Failure to file such a written statement within the time permitted will be deemed a waiver of any objections, and the appeal will be dismissed.  
  4. D. Within 150 days after the Division mails or delivers the final determination to the appellant, the Division must file with the Appeals Board a written response to the appellant’s statement.  A copy of the Division’s response must be mailed to the address provided by the appellant within 10 days.
  5. E. The Appeals Board must provide the appellant written notice of the hearing date and location at least 14 days prior to the hearing.  The appellant and the Division may present relevant testimony and oral argument at the hearing.  The Appeals Board may request additional written comment and documents as it deems appropriate.
  6. F. Decisions of the Appeals Board must be in writing, state the basis for the decision and be signed by the Appeals Board Chair.
  7. G. The decision of the Appeals Board is final as of the issue date and no further administrative appeal will be provided.
  8. H. The filing of an appeal with the Appeals Board temporarily suspends the obligation to pay any tax that is the subject of the appeal pending a final decision by the Appeals Board.
  9. I. Penalty waiver and/or reduction requests are not subject to the protest/appeal process or timeline outlined in Sections 7.02.290 A. through 7.02.290 H..  The taxfiler must file a written request with the Division detailing why a penalty should be waived within 30 days of receipt of a billing notice that assesses a penalty.  The Division must respond to requests to reduce and/or waive penalties within 60 days from the date the written request is received.  As provided in Section 7.02.700 G., the Division may waive or reduce penalties in certain situations. If the taxpayer has requested that penalties be waived and the Division denies the taxpayer's request for this discretionary waiver of penalties, the taxpayer may request a conference with the Director (or designee) within 30 days of the date of the Division’s notice of denial. If the conference with the Director results in a denial of the penalty waiver request, that decision is final and may not be appealed to the Business License Appeals Board.

7.02.295 Revenue Division Appeals Board.

(Amended by Ordinances 187339 and 191011, effective October 28, 2022.)

  1. The Revenue Division Appeals Board (the “Appeals Board”) hears appeals and consists of the following members:
  2. A. A member of the public appointed by the City Auditor for a two year term that expires every even year.
  3. B. A member of the public appointed by the elected official in Charge of the Division, (whether that elected official is the Mayor or a Commissioner) for a two year term that expires every odd year.
  4. C. Three members of the public appointed by the Mayor, subject to confirmation by the City Council.  In making the initial appointments, one member will be appointed for one year, one for two years and one for three years.  After making the initial appointments, each member will serve for a term of three years.
  5. D. Appointments to the Appeals Board must provide for an appropriate level of expertise in accounting methods and tax regulation.
  6. E. No employee or agent of the City may be appointed to or serve on the Appeals Board.

7.02.300 Certificates of Compliance.

(Amended by Ordinances 183727, 187339 and 189389, effective February 21, 2019.)

  1. A.  Within 60 days of beginning business, the taxfiler must complete a registration form.  The Division may issue or otherwise provide access to either an electronic or printed “Certificate of Compliance” upon registration to assist businesses in proving their compliance to regulatory agencies or to the public.  Subsequently, after each year’s tax filing the Division may issue or otherwise provide access to either an electronic or printed Certificate of Compliance indicating that the taxfiler is in compliance with the City’s Business License Tax Law as of a particular date.
  2. B.  The City’s issuance of a “Certificate of Compliance” does not entitle a taxfiler to carry on any business not in compliance with all other requirements of this Code and all other applicable laws.
  3. C.  A taxfiler is deemed to be doing business within the City within any fiscal year they receive income from business activity conducted within the City, notwithstanding that such activity has ceased.  Income from business activity that has ceased includes, but is not limited to, income from installment sales (including sales of real property), collection of accounts receivable, covenants not to compete, and income from contractual agreements related to the trade or business activity.

7.02.310 Duplicate Certificates of Compliance.

(Amended by Ordinance 187339, effective October 16, 2015.)  

  1. Upon request by the taxfiler a duplicate Certificate of Compliance may be issued to replace any Certificate previously issued that has been lost or destroyed.  Duplicate Certificates will be issued in accordance with the Division’s written policy.

7.02.330 Account Merger or Division.

  1. When two or more taxfilers combine by merger or acquisition into one reporting entity, or one taxfiler divides or spins off into more than one reporting entity, the business tax for the license tax year after the combination or division will be computed upon the incomes earned by all entities for all tax periods required to be reported under state and federal tax laws and regulations.

7.02.400 Exemptions.

(Amended by Ordinances 183727, 185394 and 187339, effective October 16, 2015.)  

  1. The Division may require the filings of tax returns or other documentary verification of any exemption claimed under this section.  To the extent set forth below, the following persons are exempt from payment of the business license tax, and/or the following incomes are exempt from calculation of the business license tax:
  2. A.  Persons whom the City is prohibited from taxing under the Constitution or laws of the United States, the Constitution or laws of the State of Oregon, or the Charter of the City.
  3. B.  Income arising from transactions which the City is prohibited from taxing under the Constitution or the laws of the United States, the Constitution or laws of the State of Oregon, or the Charter of the City.
  4. C.  Persons whose gross receipts from all business, both within and without the City, amounts to less than $50,000 ($25,000 for tax years that begin prior to January 1, 2007).
  5. D.  Corporations exempt from the Oregon Corporation Excise Tax under ORS 317.080, provided that any such corporation subject to the tax on unrelated business income under ORS 317.920 to 317.930 must pay a business tax based solely on such income.
  6. E.  Trusts exempt from Federal income tax under Internal Revenue Code Section 501, provided that any exempt trust subject to tax on unrelated business income and certain other activities under Internal Revenue Code Section 501 (b), must pay a business tax based solely on that income.
  7. F.  The following incomes of an individual:
    1. 1.  Income from sales, exchanges or involuntary conversions of a primary residence;
    2. 2.  Income from the sale of personal property acquired for household or other personal use by the seller;
    3. 3.  Income from interest and dividend income earned from investments if the income is not created in the course of or related to the taxfiler’s business activities;
    4. 4.  Income from gains and losses incurred from the sale of investments (other than real property) that are not a part of a business.
  8. G.  Any person whose only business transactions are exclusively limited to the following activities:
    1. 1.  Raising, harvesting and selling of the person’s own crops, or the feeding, breeding, management and sale of the person’s own livestock, poultry, furbearing animals or honeybees, or sale of the produce thereof, or any other agricultural, horticultural or animal husbandry activity carried on by any person on said person’s own behalf and not for others, or dairying and the sale of dairy products to processors.  This exemption does not apply if, in addition to the farm activities described in this subsection, the person does any processing of the person’s own farm products which changes their character or form, or the person’s business includes the handling, preparation, storage, processing or marketing of farm products raised or produced by others; or the processing of milk or milk products whether produced by said person or by others for retail or wholesale distribution.
    2. 2.  Operating within a permanent structure a display space, booth or table for selling or displaying merchandise by an affiliated participant at any trade show, convention, festival, fair, circus, market, flea market, swap meet or similar event for less than 14 days in any tax year.
  9. H.  Gross revenues subject to Chapters 7.12 or 7.14.  Unless otherwise prohibited by law, gross revenue which is not otherwise subject to Chapters 7.12 or 7.14 is subject to the Business License Law.

7.02.500 Tax Rate.

(Amended by Ordinances 187743, 188129, 189017, 189261, 189389, 189794, 189861, 190129, 191011191486 and 191615, effective March 1, 2024.)

  1. A. Except as otherwise provided in this Chapter, a tax is imposed upon each person doing business within the City.  The tax established by the Business License Law is 2.2 percent of adjusted net income, for tax years beginning on or before December 31, 2017.  For tax years beginning on or after January 1, 2018, the tax is 2.6 percent of adjusted net income, except as provided in Subsections B., C., D. and E. of this Section.
  2. B. Surcharges applicable to Tax Years 2002 through 2005.  The following surcharges are imposed in addition to the 2.2 percent tax established in Subsection A. above.  The proceeds of the surcharges are dedicated to supplementing the funding provided by the State to the public schools within the City, and allocated to all of the public school districts within the City of Portland.
    1. 1. For the tax year beginning on or after January 1, 2002, a surcharge is imposed in the amount of 1 percent.
    2. 2. For tax year beginning on or after January 1, 2003, a surcharge is imposed in the amount of 0.4 percent.
    3. 3. For tax year beginning on or after January 1, 2004, a surcharge is imposed in the amount of 0.4 percent.
  3. C. Surcharge applicable to Tax Years 2006 through 2007.  The following surcharges are imposed in addition to the 2.2 percent tax established in Subsection A. above.  The proceeds of the surcharges are dedicated to supplementing the funding provided by the State to the public schools within the City, and allocated to all of the public school districts within the City of Portland. The proceeds of the surcharges must be used by the school districts only for programs and activities on which the City is authorized to expend funds pursuant to its charter and state law.
    1. 1. For the tax year beginning on or after January 1, 2006, a surcharge is imposed in the amount of 0.14 percent.
    2. 2. No penalties or interest for failure to make quarterly estimated payments in the amount of the surcharge will be charged or imposed for the 2006 tax year.
    3. 3. For the tax year beginning on or after January 1, 2007, a surcharge is imposed in the amount of .07 percent.
    4. 4. If the surcharges raise more than $9 million plus City costs but less than $9.5 million plus City costs for the 2006 and 2007 tax years combined, the excess over $9 million, less City costs, will be dedicated to public schools within the City as provided in Subsection C. of this Section.  If the surcharges raise more than $9.5 million plus City costs for the 2006 and 2007 tax years combined, the excess over $9 million, less City costs, will be retained as a credit for taxes due in a later tax year. The Director will apply the credit to taxes due no later than the 2010 tax year. The Director has the sole discretion to determine the method of calculating and distributing credits.
  4. D. Heavy Vehicle Use Tax applicable to Tax Years 2016 through 2027.  The following tax is imposed in addition to the tax established in Subsection A. above.  The proceeds of this tax are dedicated to supplementing the funding of City of Portland street maintenance and safety and shall be deposited in a Street Repair and Traffic Safety Program of the Transportation Operating Fund where street repair and traffic safety expenditures are recorded.
    1. 1. For the tax years 2016 through 2027, a Heavy Vehicle Use Tax is imposed on taxpayers who operate one or more Heavy Vehicles on streets owned or maintained by the City of Portland. For the purposes of this tax, a Heavy Vehicle is any vehicle that is subject to the Oregon Weight-Mile Tax pursuant to ORS 825.450 et seq. For the tax years beginning on or after January 1, 2016, January 1, 2017, January 1, 2018 and January 1, 2019, this tax is 2.8 percent of the total Oregon Weight-Mile Tax calculated for all periods within the tax year. For the tax years beginning on or after January 1, 2020, this tax is 3 percent of the total Oregon Weight-Mile Tax calculated for all periods within the tax year. For the tax years beginning on or after January 1, 2024, this tax is 2.6 percent of the total Oregon Weight-Mile Tax calculated for all periods with the tax year.
    2. 2. The minimum Heavy Vehicle Use Tax due for a tax year is $100.  The minimum tax would be in addition to the $100 minimum tax described in Section 7.02.545, if applicable.
    3. 3. No penalties or interest for failure to make quarterly estimated payments in the amount of the Heavy Vehicle Use Tax will be charged or imposed for the 2016 tax year only.  Thereafter, penalties and interest will be calculated as provided for in the Code.
    4. 4. The Heavy Vehicle Use Tax shall have a 4 year revenue target, beginning with tax year 2020, of $11 million plus City costs. If at the end of tax year 2021, the City projects 4 year revenues to be above or below the target by an amount that is more than 10 percent of the target, the City will adjust the rate for subsequent tax years to reach the 4 year target. The Revenue Division of the Bureau of Revenue and Financial Services is authorized to adopt an administrative rule to implement this change, if needed.
    5. 5. The Heavy Vehicle Use Tax shall have a 4 year revenue target, beginning with tax year 2024, of $10.5 million plus City costs. If at the end of tax year 2025, the City projects 4 year revenues to be above or below the target by an amount that is more than 10 percent of the target, the City will adjust the rate for subsequent tax years to reach the 4 year target. The Revenue Division of the Bureau of Revenue and Financial Services is authorized to adopt an administrative rule to implement this change, if needed.

  5. E. Pay ratio surtax applicable to publicly traded companies subject to U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission pay ratio reporting requirements.  The following surtax is imposed in addition to the tax established in Subsection A. above.
    1. 1. For tax years beginning on or after January 1, 2017, a surtax of 10 percent of base tax liability is imposed if a company subject to this section reports a pay ratio of at least 100:1 but less than 250:1 on U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission disclosures.
    2. 2. For tax years beginning on or after January 1, 2017, a surtax of 25 percent of base tax liability is imposed if a company subject to this section reports a pay ratio of 250:1 or greater on U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission disclosures.
  6. F. Clean Energy Surcharge applicable to Large Retailers with Retail Sales within the City. The following surcharge is imposed in addition to the tax established in Subsection A. above. The proceeds from this surcharge are to support the City of Portland’s Climate Action Plan and shall be deposited into the Portland Clean Energy Community Benefits Fund.
    1. 1. Filing Requirement: 
      1. a. For tax years beginning before January 1, 2023, all businesses with total gross income of $1 billion or more and Portland gross income of $500,000 or more, as reported on the Combined Tax Return per Section 7.02.610, shall file a form that is due at the same time as their Combined Tax Return.
      2. b. For tax years beginning on or after January 1, 2023, all businesses with total sales of $1 billion or more and Portland sales of $500,000 or more, as reported on the Combined Tax Return per Section 7.02.611, shall file a form that is due at the same time as their Combined Tax Return.

    2. 2. Imposition of Surcharge and Rate. Large Retailers shall pay a 1 percent surcharge on Retail Gross Revenue within the City. This surcharge is not a tax imposed directly on the purchaser (consumer). If a Large Retailer itemizes its cost of doing business for the purchaser (consumer), these amounts are still considered Retail Sales subject to the Clean Energy Surcharge.
    3. 3. Calculation of Retail Gross Revenue. In calculating the amount of Retail Gross Revenue for purposes of this Clean Energy Surcharge, a deduction from Retail Sales within the City is allowed for the following:
      1. a. The amount of the Portland Business License Tax attributable to revenue subject to this surcharge, if any, paid to the city;
      2. b. Retail Sales of Qualified Groceries;
      3. c. Retail Sales of Qualified Medicine or Drugs;
      4. d. Retail Sales of Qualified Health Care Services;
      5. e. Retail Sales of Qualified Residential Garbage and Recycling Services; and
      6. f. Retail Sales from the administration of Qualified Retirement Plans.
    4. 4. Effective Date and Penalties. The Clean Energy Surcharge will apply for all tax years beginning on or after January 1, 2019. Payments will be made consistent with the schedule required in Section 7.02.530. No underpayment interest for failure to make quarterly estimated payments for the Clean Energy Surcharge will be charged or imposed for the 2019 tax year. Thereafter, penalties and interest will be calculated separately from other taxes and surcharges as provided for in Sections 7.02.700 and 7.02.710.

7.02.510 Registration Form and Tax Return Due Dates.

(Amended by Ordinances 183727, 187339, 190129 and 191450, effective October 13, 2023.)

  1. A.  All persons subject to the requirements of this Chapter must register with the Division on a form provided or approved by the Division.  Thereafter, taxfilers must file tax returns with the Division.  The following timing requirements apply:
    1. 1.  Registration forms must be filed within 60 days of the person beginning business in the City.
    2. 2.  Tax returns must be filed by the 15th day of the fourth (4th) month following the end of the tax year.  For cooperatives and non-profit corporations that have later due dates under Oregon tax law, the due date for filing tax returns with the Division must conform to the due date under Oregon tax law.
  2. B.  The Division may, for good cause, grant extensions for filing tax returns, except that no extension may be granted for more than six (6) months beyond the initial filing due date.  This extension does not extend the time to pay the tax.
  3. C.  Registration forms and tax returns must contain a written declaration, verified by the taxfiler, to the effect that the statements made therein are true.
  4. D.  The Division will prepare blank registration forms and tax returns and make them available at its office upon request.  Failure to receive or secure a form does not relieve any person from the obligation to pay a business tax.
  5. E. Authority to require filing of returns by electronic means.
    1. 1. As used in this Section:
      1. a. “Electronic means” includes computer-generated electronic or magnetic media, Internet-based applications or similar computer-based methods or applications.
      2. b. “Paid tax preparer” means a person who prepares a tax return for another or advises or assists in the preparation of a tax return for another, or who employs or authorizes another to do the same, for valuable consideration.
      3. c. “Tax return” means a return filed under the Business License Law.
    2. 2. The Revenue Division may by rule require a paid tax preparer to file tax returns by electronic means if the paid tax preparer is required to file federal tax returns by electronic means.
    3. 3. The Revenue Division may require by rule that a business subject to the Business License Law file tax returns by electronic means if it is required to file, or voluntarily files, federal tax returns by electronic means.
    4. 4. The Revenue Division may by rule establish exceptions to the electronic filing requirements of this Section.

7.02.520 Quarterly Estimates.

  1. Every taxfiler expecting to have a tax liability under Section 7.02.500 of $1,000 or greater must make an estimate of the tax based upon the taxfiler’s current tax year and pay the amount of tax determined as provided in Section 7.02.530.

7.02.530 Schedule for Payment of Estimated Tax.

(Amended by Ordinance 187339, effective October 16, 2015.)  

  1. A taxfiler required under Section 7.02.520 to make payments of estimated business taxes must make the payments in installments as follows:
  2. A.   One quarter or more of the estimated tax on or before the 15th day of the fourth (4th) month of the tax year; and
  3. B.   One quarter or more of the estimated tax on or before the 15th day of the sixth (6th) month of the tax year; and
  4. C.   One quarter or more of the estimated tax on or before the 15th day of the ninth (9th) month of the tax year; and
  5. D.   The balance of the estimated tax must be paid on or before the 15th day of the twelfth (12th) month of the tax year.
  6. E.   Any payment of the estimated tax received by the Division for which the taxfiler has made no designation of the quarterly installment to which the payment is to be applied, will first be applied to underpayments of estimated taxes due for any prior quarter of the tax year.  Any excess amount will be applied to the installment that next becomes due after the payment was received.

7.02.545 Tax Returns.

(Authorized by Ordinance 189389, effective February 21, 2019.)  

  1. Each tax return must be accompanied by a tax payment at the rate established in Section 7.02.500, provided that each such tax return must be accompanied by a minimum tax of $100 plus any amount due as a result of the temporary surcharge established in Section 7.02.500 B. and D.  The minimum payment may have previously been paid by quarterly payments, an extension payment, or credit available from a prior tax year.

7.02.550 Presumptive Tax.

(Amended by Ordinances 187339 and 191011, effective October 28, 2022.)

  1. A. If a person fails to file a tax return, a rebuttable presumption exists that the tax payable amounts to $500 for every license tax year for which a tax return has not been filed.
  2. B. Nothing in this Section prevents the Division from assessing a tax due which is less than or greater than $500 per license tax year.
  3. C. Taxes determined under this subsection are subject to penalties and interest from the date the taxes should have been paid as provided in Section 7.02.510 in accordance with Sections 7.02.700 and 7.02.710.  The Division will send notice of the determination and assessment to the taxfiler.

7.02.560 Payment Plan Fee.

(Amended by Ordinance 187339, effective October 16, 2015.)  

  1. If a person fails to pay the business tax when due, the Division may establish a payment plan and charge a set up fee pursuant to written policy.

7.02.600 Income Determinations.

(Amended by Ordinances 183727, 185781, 186331, 187339, 189017, 189389, 190129 and 191010, effective October 28, 2022.)

  1. This Section applies to tax years beginning prior to January 1, 2023. For Tax years beginning on or after January 1, 2023, see Section 7.02.601.
  2. A. Owners Compensation Deductions.  “Owners Compensation Deduction” is defined as the additional deduction allowed in Subsections B., C. and D. below.  The owners compensation deduction is indexed (beginning in January 1999) by the Consumers Price Index - All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) US City Average as published by the US Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, using the September to September index, not seasonally adjusted (unadjusted index).  The Division determines the exact deduction amount and publishes the amount on forms.  Any increase or decrease under this paragraph that is not a multiple of $500 will be rounded up or down to the next multiple of $500 at the Division’s discretion.
    1. 1. For tax years beginning on or after January 1, 2007, the Owners Compensation Deduction cannot exceed $80,000 per owner as defined in Subsections B., C. and D. below.  For tax years beginning on or after January 1, 2008, the Owners Compensation Deduction will be indexed as described above.
    2. 2. For tax years beginning on or after January 1, 2013, the Owners Compensation Deduction cannot exceed $90,500 per owner as defined in Subsections B., C. and D. below.
    3. 3. For tax years beginning on or after January 1, 2014, the Owners Compensation Deduction cannot exceed $100,000 per owner as defined in Subsections B., C. and D. below.  For tax years beginning on or after January 1, 2015, the Owners Compensation Deduction will be indexed as described above.
    4. 4. For tax years beginning on or after January 1, 2018, the Owners Compensation Deduction cannot exceed $125,000 per owner as defined in Subsections B., C. and D. below.  For tax years beginning on or after January 1, 2019, the Owners Compensation Deduction will be indexed as described above.
  3. B. Sole Proprietorships.  In determining income, no deduction is allowed for any compensation for services rendered by, or interest paid to, owners.  However, 75 percent of income determined without such deductions is allowed as an additional deduction, not to exceed the amounts listed in Subsection A. per owner.
  4. C. Partnerships.  In determining income, no deductions are allowed for any compensation for services rendered by, or interest paid to, owners of partnerships, limited partnerships, limited liability companies, limited liability partnerships, or family limited partnerships.  Guaranteed payments to partners or members are deemed compensation paid to owners for services rendered.  However:
    1. 1. For general partners or members, 75 percent of income determined without such deductions is allowed as an additional deduction, not to exceed the amounts listed in Subsection A. per general partner or member.
    2. 2. For limited partners or members of LLCs who are deemed limited partners by administrative rule or policy, 75 percent of income determined without such deductions is allowed as an additional deduction, not to exceed the lesser of actual compensation and interest paid or the amounts listed in Subsection A. per compensated limited partner.
  5. D. Corporations.  In determining income, no deduction is allowed for any compensation for services rendered by, or interest paid to, controlling shareholders of any corporation, including but not limited to, C and S corporations and any other entity electing treatment as a corporation, either C or S.  However, 75 percent of the corporation’s income, determined without deduction of compensation or interest, is allowed as a deduction in addition to any other allowable deductions, not to exceed the lesser of the actual compensation and interest paid or the amounts listed in Subsection A. for each controlling shareholder.
    1. 1. For purposes of this Subsection, to calculate the compensation for services rendered by or interest paid to controlling shareholders that must be added back to income, wages, salaries, fees or interest paid to all persons meeting the definition of a controlling shareholder must be included.
    2. 2. For purposes of this Subsection, in determining the number of controlling shareholders, a controlling shareholder and that person’s spouse, parents and children count as one owner, unless such spouse, parent or child individually control more than five (5) percent ownership of outstanding stock or securities in their own name.  In that case, each spouse, parent or child who owns more than five (5) percent of stock is deemed to be an additional controlling shareholder.
    3. 3. For purposes of this Subsection, joint ownership of outstanding stock or securities is not considered separate ownership.
  6. E. Estates and Trusts.  In determining income for estates and trusts, income is measured before distribution of profits to beneficiaries.  No additional deduction is allowed.
  7. F. Non-business Income.  In determining income under this Section, an allocation is allowed for non-business income as reported to the State of Oregon.  However, income treated as non-business income for State of Oregon tax purposes may not necessarily be defined as non-business income under the Business License Law.  Interest and dividend income, rental income or losses from real and personal business property, and gains or losses on sales of property or investments owned by a trade or business is treated as business income for purposes of the Business License Law.  Income derived from non-unitary business functions reported at the State of Oregon level may be considered non-business income.  Non-unitary income will not be recognized at an intrastate level.  The taxfiler has the burden of showing that income is non-business income.
  8. G. Nondeductible Taxes and Surcharges.  In determining income, no deduction is allowed for taxes based on or measured by net income.  No deduction is allowed for the federal built-in gains tax.  No deduction is allowed for the Clean Energy Surcharge.
  9. H. Ordinary Gain or Loss.  In determining income, gain or loss from the sale, exchange or involuntary conversion of real property or tangible and intangible personal property not exempt under Subsections 7.02.400 G. and H. must be included as ordinary gain or loss.
  10. I. Net Operating Loss.  In determining income, a deduction is allowed equal to the aggregate of the net operating losses incurred in prior years, not to exceed 75 percent of the income determined for the current license tax year before this deduction, but after all other deductions from income allowed by this Section and apportioned for business activity both within and without the City of Portland.
    1. 1. When the operations of the taxfiler from doing business both within and without the City result in a net operating loss, such loss will be apportioned in the same manner as the net income under Section 7.02.610.  A net operating loss may not be carried forward from any license tax year during which the taxfiler conducted no business within the City or the taxfiler was otherwise exempt from payment of the business license tax unless specifically provided for by administrative rule or written policy.
    2. 2. In computing the net operating loss for any license tax year, the net operating loss of a prior year is not allowed as a deduction.
    3. 3. In computing the net operating loss for any license or tax year, no compensation allowance deduction is allowed to increase the net operating loss.  “Compensation allowance deduction” is defined in Subsection 7.02.600 A.
    4. 4. The net operating loss of the earliest license tax year available must be exhausted before a net operating loss from a later year may be deducted.
    5. 5. The net operating loss in any license tax year is allowed as a deduction in the five (5) succeeding license tax years until used or expired.  Any partial license tax year will be treated the same as a full license tax year in determining the appropriate carry-forward period.

7.02.601 Income Determinations.

(Amended by Ordinance 191010, effective October 28, 2022.)

  1. This Section applies to tax years beginning on or after January 1, 2023. 
  2. A. Owners Compensation Deductions.  “Owners Compensation Deduction” is defined as the additional deduction allowed in Subsections B., C. and D. below.  The owners compensation deduction is indexed (beginning in January 1999) by the Consumers Price Index - All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) US City Average as published by the US Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, using the September to September index, not seasonally adjusted (unadjusted index).  The Division determines the exact deduction amount and publishes the amount on forms.  Any increase or decrease under this paragraph that is not a multiple of $500 will be rounded up or down to the next multiple of $500 at the Division’s discretion.
    1. 1. For tax years beginning on or after January 1, 2007, the Owners Compensation Deduction cannot exceed $80,000 per owner as defined in Subsections B., C. and D. below.  For tax years beginning on or after January 1, 2008, the Owners Compensation Deduction will be indexed as described above.
    2. 2. For tax years beginning on or after January 1, 2013, the Owners Compensation Deduction cannot exceed $90,500 per owner as defined in Subsections B., C. and D. below.
    3. 3. For tax years beginning on or after January 1, 2014, the Owners Compensation Deduction cannot exceed $100,000 per owner as defined in Subsections B., C. and D. below.  For tax years beginning on or after January 1, 2015, the Owners Compensation Deduction will be indexed as described above.
    4. 4. For tax years beginning on or after January 1, 2018, the Owners Compensation Deduction cannot exceed $125,000 per owner as defined in Subsections B., C. and D. below.  For tax years beginning on or after January 1, 2019, the Owners Compensation Deduction will be indexed as described above.
  3. B. Sole Proprietorships.  In determining income, no deduction is allowed for any compensation for services rendered by, or interest paid to, owners.  However, 75 percent of income determined without such deductions is allowed as an additional deduction, not to exceed the amounts listed in Subsection A. per owner.
  4. C. Partnerships.  In determining income, no deductions are allowed for any compensation for services rendered by, or interest paid to, owners of partnerships, limited partnerships, limited liability companies, limited liability partnerships, or family limited partnerships.  Guaranteed payments to partners or members are deemed compensation paid to owners for services rendered.  However:
    1. 1. For general partners or members, 75 percent of income determined without such deductions is allowed as an additional deduction, not to exceed the amounts listed in Subsection A. per general partner or member.
    2. 2. For limited partners or members of LLCs who are deemed limited partners by administrative rule or policy, 75 percent of income determined without such deductions is allowed as an additional deduction, not to exceed the lesser of actual compensation and interest paid or the amounts listed in Subsection A. per compensated limited partner.
  5. D. Corporations.  In determining income, no deduction is allowed for any compensation for services rendered by, or interest paid to, controlling shareholders of any corporation, including but not limited to, C and S corporations and any other entity electing treatment as a corporation, either C or S.  However, 75 percent of the corporation’s income, determined without deduction of compensation or interest, is allowed as a deduction in addition to any other allowable deductions, not to exceed the lesser of the actual compensation and interest paid or the amounts listed in Subsection A. for each controlling shareholder.
    1. 1. For purposes of this Subsection, to calculate the compensation for services rendered by or interest paid to controlling shareholders that must be added back to income, wages, salaries, fees or interest paid to all persons meeting the definition of a controlling shareholder must be included.
    2. 2. For purposes of this Subsection, in determining the number of controlling shareholders, a controlling shareholder and that person’s spouse, parents and children count as one owner, unless such spouse, parent or child individually control more than 5 percent ownership of outstanding stock or securities in their own name.  In that case, each spouse, parent or child who owns more than 5 percent of stock is deemed to be an additional controlling shareholder.
    3. 3. For purposes of this Subsection, joint ownership of outstanding stock or securities is not considered separate ownership.
  6. E. Estates and Trusts.  In determining income for estates and trusts, income is measured before distribution of profits to beneficiaries.  No additional deduction is allowed.
  7. F. Nondeductible Taxes and Surcharges.  In determining income, no deduction is allowed for taxes based on or measured by net income.  No deduction is allowed for the federal built-in gains tax.  No deduction is allowed for the Clean Energy Surcharge.
  8. G. Ordinary Gain or Loss.  In determining income, gain or loss from the sale, exchange or involuntary conversion of real property or tangible and intangible personal property not exempt under Subsections 7.02.400 G. and H. must be included as ordinary gain or loss.
  9. H. Net Operating Loss.  In determining income, a deduction is allowed equal to the aggregate of the net operating losses incurred in prior years, not to exceed 75 percent of the income determined for the current license tax year before this deduction, but after all other deductions from income allowed by this Section and apportioned for business activity both within and without the City of Portland.
    1. 1. When the operations of the taxfiler from doing business both within and without the City result in a net operating loss, such loss will be apportioned in the same manner as the net income under Section 7.02.611.  A net operating loss may not be carried forward from any license tax year during which the taxfiler conducted no business within the City or the taxfiler was otherwise exempt from payment of the business license tax unless specifically provided for by administrative rule or written policy.
    2. 2. In computing the net operating loss for any license tax year, the net operating loss of a prior year is not allowed as a deduction.
    3. 3. In computing the net operating loss for any license or tax year, no compensation allowance deduction is allowed to increase the net operating loss.  “Compensation allowance deduction” is defined in Subsection 7.02.601 A.
    4. 4. The net operating loss of the earliest license tax year available must be exhausted before a net operating loss from a later year may be deducted.
    5. 5. The net operating loss in any license tax year is allowed as a deduction in the 5 succeeding license tax years until used or expired.  Any partial license tax year will be treated the same as a full license tax year in determining the appropriate carry-forward period.

7.02.610 Apportionment of Income.

(Amended by Ordinances 182427, 184597, 187339 and 191010, effective October 28, 2022.)  

  1. This Section applies to tax years beginning prior to January 1, 2023. For Tax years beginning on or after January 1, 2023, see Section 7.02.611.
  2. A. “Jurisdiction to tax” occurs when a person engages in business activities in a jurisdiction that are not protected from taxation by Public Law 86-272.  Public Law 86-272 applies to interstate sales of tangible personal property.  For purposes of the Business License Law, the limits imposed by Public Law 86-272 for interstate jurisdiction to tax shall also be presumed to apply on an intrastate basis.  If a taxpayer’s business is based in Portland, a taxpayer must have business activity outside Portland that results in a jurisdiction to tax outside Portland to apportion the income of the business.  Without jurisdiction to tax outside Portland, all income of a business is taxable by Portland.
  3. B. “Business activity” means any of the elements of doing business. The income reportable as income earned from business activity within the City of Portland will include all business incomes from sources within the City of Portland that are taxable incomes under Oregon tax laws and regulations unless otherwise exempted or excluded in this Chapter.
  4. C. In computing the business license tax, taxfilers that have income from business activity both within and without the City must determine the income apportioned to the City by multiplying the total net income from the taxfiler’s business by a fraction, the numerator of which is the total gross income of the taxfiler from business activity in the City during the tax year, and the denominator of which is the total gross income of the taxfiler from business activity everywhere during the tax year.
  5. D. In determining the apportionment of gross income within the City under Subsection 7.02.610 C.:
    1. 1. Sales of tangible personal property are deemed to take place in the City if the property is delivered or shipped to a purchaser within the City regardless of the f.o.b. point or other conditions of sale.  If sales of tangible personal property are shipped from the City to a purchaser located where the taxfiler is not taxable, those sales are not apportioned to the City.
    2. 2. Sales other than sales of tangible personal property are deemed to take place in the City if the income producing activity is performed in the City.
  6. E. Certain industries or incomes are subject to specific apportionment methodologies.  Such methodologies are described in administrative rules adopted in accordance with Section 7.02.210.  Industry specific or income specific apportionment methodologies required by Oregon Revised Statutes for apportionment of gross sales, will be used in cases where no rule has been adopted by the Division regarding the apportionment of such industry or income.  When gross sales as reported to Oregon are used for apportionment purposes, such gross sales will be defined as gross income for apportionment purposes herein.  All apportionment methodologies directed under this Subsection will be a single factor gross income apportionment as directed under Subsections 7.02.610 C. and 7.02.610 D.  In those specific cases where Oregon has directed allocation of income, such income will be apportioned for purposes of this Chapter, unless allocation is otherwise allowed in this Chapter.
  7. F. If the apportionment provisions of Subsection C. do not fairly represent the extent of the taxfiler’s business activity in the City and result in the violation of the taxfiler’s rights under the Constitution of this State or the United States, the taxfiler may petition the Division to permit the taxfiler to:
    1. 1. Utilize the method of apportionment used by the taxfiler under the applicable laws of the State of Oregon imposing taxes upon or measured by net income; or
    2. 2. Utilize any other method to effectuate an equitable apportionment of the taxfiler’s income.

7.02.611 Apportionment of Income.

(Amended by Ordinance 191010, effective October 28, 2022.)

  1. This Section applies to tax years beginning on or after January 1, 2023
  2. A. “Jurisdiction to tax” occurs when a person engages in business activities in a jurisdiction that are not protected from taxation by Public Law 86-272. The City of Portland’s (City) standard for jurisdiction to tax, or nexus, is the same as the State of Oregon’s found in the Oregon Revised Statutes and Oregon Administrative Rules related to taxation. If a taxpayer’s business is based in the City, a taxpayer must have business activity outside the City that results in a jurisdiction to tax outside the City to apportion the income of the business. Without jurisdiction to tax outside the City, all income of a business is taxable by the City. 
  3. B. “Business activity” means any of the elements of doing business. The income reportable as income earned from business activity within the City will include all business incomes from sources within the City that are taxable income under Oregon tax laws and regulations unless otherwise exempted or excluded in this Chapter. 
  4. C. The City adopts the apportionment and allocation provisions found in the Oregon Revised Statutes, Chapters 314, 317, and 318 and related Oregon Administrative Rules unless otherwise provided in this chapter or by administrative rule. All references to Oregon or the state should be read as referring to the City. All business income must be apportioned to the City by multiplying business income by the sales factor only. 
  5. D. In determining the sales factor numerator under Subsection 7.02.611 C: Sales of tangible personal property are deemed to take place in the City if the property is delivered or shipped to a purchaser within the City regardless of the f.o.b. point or other conditions of sale. If sales of tangible personal property are shipped from the City to a purchaser located where the taxfiler is not taxable, those sales are not apportioned to the City.
  6. E. Certain industries or incomes are subject to specific apportionment methodologies. Such methodologies are described in the code and administrative rules adopted in accordance with Section 7.02.210. Industry specific or income specific apportionment methodologies required by Oregon Revised Statutes and Oregon Administrative Rules for the sales factor, will be used in cases where no rule has been adopted by the Division regarding the apportionment of such industry or income. All apportionment methodologies directed under this Chapter will be a single factor sales apportionment as directed under Subsections 7.02.611 C. and Subsection 7.02.611 D.

7.02.620 Changes to Federal and/or State Tax Returns.

(Amended by Ordinance 187339, effective October 16, 2015.)

  1. A.  If a taxfiler’s reported net income under applicable Oregon laws imposing a tax on or measured by income is changed by the federal Internal Revenue Service or the Oregon Department of Revenue, or amended by the taxfiler to correct an error in the original federal or state return, a report of such change must be filed with the Division within 60 days after the date of the notice of the final determination of change or after an amended return is filed with the federal or state agencies.  The report must be accompanied by an amended tax return with respect to such income and by any additional tax, penalty, and interest due.
  2. B.  The Division may assess deficiencies and grant refunds resulting from changes to federal, state, city or county tax returns within the time periods provided for in Section 7.02.280, treating the report of change in federal, state, city or county tax returns as the filing of an amended tax return.
  3. C.  The Division may assess penalties and interest on the additional tax due as provided in Subsection 7.02.700 A. and 7.02.710 A., or may refuse to grant a refund of business taxes as a result of the amended tax return if the amended tax return is not filed with the Division within the time limits set forth in Subsection A.

7.02.630 Income Long Term Construction Contract Methods.

  1. A. A taxfiler reporting income using a long term construction contract method must file an additional tax return for the taxfiler’s income earned during the last license tax year, not later than the 15th day of the fourth (4th) month following the end of the prior license tax year during which either:
    1. 1. The taxfiler ceases to do business in the City; or
    2. 2. The taxfiler ceases to receive income from such long term construction contracts.
  2. B. Net income for such taxfiler must include apportioned income arising from all contracts completed during such license tax year.

7.02.700 Penalties.

(Amended by Ordinances 187339 and 189389, effective February 21, 2019.)

  1. A.  A penalty will be assessed if a person:
    1. 1.  Fails to file a tax return or extension request at the time required under Subsections 7.02.510 A. or 7.02.620 A.; or
    2. 2.  Fails to pay the tax when due.
    3. 3.  The penalty under Subsection A. is:
      1. a.  Five percent (0.05) of the total tax liability, but not less than $5, if the failure is for a period less than four (4) months;
      2. b.  An additional penalty of 20 percent (0.20) of the total tax liability if the failure is for a period of four (4) months or more; and
      3. c.  An additional penalty of 100 percent (1.00) of the total tax liability of all license tax years if the failure to file is for three (3) or more consecutive license tax years.
  2. B.  A penalty will be assessed if a person who has filed an extension request:
    1. 1.  Fails to file a tax return by the extended due date; or
    2. 2.  Fails to pay the tax liability by the extended due date.
    3. 3.  The penalty under Subsection B. is:
      1. a.  Five percent (0.05) of the total tax liability, but not less than $5, if the failure is for a period less than four (4) months; and
      2. b.  An additional penalty of 20 percent (0.20) of the total tax liability if the failure is for a period of four (4) months or more.
  3. C.  A penalty will be assessed if a person:
    1. 1.  Fails to pay at least 90 percent (0.90) of the total tax liability, but not less than $100, by the original due date; or
    2. 2.  Fails to pay at least 100 percent (1.00) of the prior year’s total tax liability by the original due date.
    3. 3.  The penalty under Subsection C. is five percent (.05) of the tax underpayment, but not less than $5.
  4. D.  A penalty of $100.00 may be assessed if a person fails to file a registration form at the time required under Subsection 7.02.510 A.
  5. E.  The Director may impose a civil penalty of up to $500 for each of the following violations of the Business License Law:
    1. 1.  Failure to file any tax return within 60 days from the due date as further outlined in Section 7.02.510 of this Chapter; or
    2. 2.  Failure to pay any tax within 60 days of the Division’s original written notice for payment; or
    3. 3.  Failure to provide either documents or information (as required by Section 7.02.260) within 60 days of the Division’s original written notice to provide the documents or information; or
    4. 4.  Failure to fully complete any form required under this Chapter.
    5. 5.  Failure to fully comply with the requirements of any section of PCC 7.02 unless such section has a separate penalty calculation.
  6. F.  The Director may impose a civil penalty under Subsections E.2. and E.3. only if the Division gave notice of the potential for assessment of civil penalties for failure to comply or respond in the original written notice.
  7. G.  The Division may waive or reduce any penalty determined under Subsections A. through E. for good cause, according to and consistent with written policies.

7.02.710 Interest.

(Amended by Ordinance 187339, effective October 16, 2015.)

  1. A. Interest will be assessed on any unpaid business tax at the rate of .833 percent simple interest per month or fraction thereof (10 percent per annum), computed from the original due date of the tax to the 15th day of the month following the date of payment.
  2. B. Interest will be assessed on any unpaid or underpaid quarterly estimated payment required by Sections 7.02.520 and 7.02.530 at the rate of .833 percent simple interest per month or fraction thereof (10 percent per annum), computed from the due date of each quarterly estimated payment to the original due date of the tax return to which the estimated payments apply.
  3. C. Notwithstanding Subsection B. there is no interest on underpayment of quarterly estimated payments if:
    1. 1. The total tax liability of the prior license tax year was less than $1,000; or
    2. 2. An amount equal to at least 90 percent (0.90) of the total tax liability, but not less than $100, for the current license tax year was paid in accordance with Section 7.02.530; or
    3. 3. An amount equal to at least 100 percent (1.00) of the prior year’s total tax liability was paid in accordance with Section 7.02.530.
  4. D. For purposes of Subsection B., the amount of underpayment is determined by comparing the 90 percent of the current total tax liability amount to quarterly estimated payments made prior to the original due date of the tax return.  However, if 100 percent of the prior year’s total tax liability is paid to the Division by the due date of the fourth quarterly payment, the Division may use the prior year’s tax liability if doing so will reduce the amount of interest owed.
  5. E. For purposes of Subsection A. of this Section, the amount of tax due on the tax return will be reduced by the amount of any tax payment made on or before the date for payment of the tax in accordance with Subsection 7.02.510 A. or Section 7.02.530.
  6. F. Interest at the rate specified in Subsection A. of this Section accrues from the original due date without regard to any extensions of the filing date.
  7. G. Any interest amounts properly assessed in accordance with this section may not be waived or reduced by the Division, unless specifically provided for by written policy.

7.02.715 Payments Applied.

(Amended by Ordinance 187339, effective October 16, 2015.)  

  1. Business taxes received will be applied first to any penalty accrued, then to interest accrued, then to business taxes due, unless the Division determines in accordance with its written policies that a more equitable method exists for a particular taxfiler’s account.

7.02.720 Interest on Refunds.

(Amended by Ordinance 187339, effective October 16, 2015.) 

  1. When, under a provision of the Business License Law, taxfilers are entitled to a refund of a portion of the business tax paid to the Division, they will receive simple interest on such amount at the rate specified in Subsection 7.02.710 A., subject to the following: 
  2. A.  Any overpayments will be refunded with interest for each month or fraction thereof for a period beginning four (4) months after the later of:
    1. 1.  the original due date of the tax return, or
    2. 2.  the date the tax return was filed or the refund was otherwise requested, or
    3. 3.  the date the business tax was paid to the date of the refund; and
  3. B.  Any overpayments of taxes that are the result of an amended tax return being filed will be refunded with interest for each month or fraction thereof for the period beginning four (4) months after the date the taxfiler filed the amended tax return.  This Subsection applies to tax returns that are amended due to a change to the federal, state, city or county tax return.

7.02.730 Criminal Penalties for Violation of the Business License Law by City Employee or Agent.

  1. Anyone knowingly violating Section 7.02.230 may be punished, upon conviction thereof, by a fine not exceeding $500.00 or by imprisonment for a period not exceeding six (6) months, or by both fine and imprisonment.  Any City employee that is convicted will be dismissed from employment and is ineligible for holding any position of employment or office in the City for a period of five (5) years thereafter.  Any agent of the City that is convicted is ineligible for participation in any City contract for a period of five (5) years thereafter.

7.02.800 Refundable Credit.

(Amended by Ordinances 187339 and 189389, effective February 21, 2019.)  

  1. For tax years beginning on or after January 1, 2005, a maximum of four (4) refundable credits of $500 each are allowed for qualifying businesses that employ disconnected youth.  For the purpose of this credit, the terms used in this section are defined below or as defined in written policies adopted under Section 7.02.210 unless the context requires otherwise.
  2. A.  “Local Business” means a business operating in the pursuit of profit, gain or the production of income that:
    1. 1.  has at least one physical location (such as an office, warehouse, store or restaurant) within the geographic boundaries of the State of Oregon and/or Clark County, Washington; and 
    2. 2.  is registered to do business in the State of Oregon and said registration has not expired or otherwise been dissolved; or is a sole proprietorship that is not legally required to register to do business in the State of Oregon ; and 
    3. 3.   has a current account with the City of Portland and has complied with all filing and payment requirements of Portland ’s Business License Law and the Multnomah County Business Income Tax Law.
  3. B.  “Disconnected Youth” means a youth that is
    1. 1.  a resident of the City of Portland,
    2. 2.  is 16-24 years old on the date on which the youth begins working with the local business,
    3. 3.  has a household income that is at or below 50 percent of the HUD Portland Area Median Income, and
    4. 4.  one or more of the following apply:
      1. a.  is receiving (or has received in the last six months) or is a member of a family receiving Temporary Assistance for Needy Families or Aid to Families with Dependent Children or Supplemental Security Income; or
      2. b.  is a 16-24 year old member of a family that is receiving (or has received in the last six (6) months) food stamps; or
      3. c.  is a custodial parent; or
      4. d.  is a high school drop-out; or
      5. e.  is an adjudicated youth, meaning that they are or have been, in the Oregon Juvenile Justice System or the equivalent thereof in another state.
  4. C.  “Qualified Youth Employment Organization” means an organization that is qualified and funded to operate youth employment and training programs by the youth certifying agency.
  5. D.  “Credit Certificate” means a pre-numbered certificate issued by the Youth Certifying Agency upon fulfillment of the employment contract.  A separate certificate is required for each credit granted to a business.
  6. E.  “Youth Certifying Agency” means an agency that has entered into an agreement or other memorandum of understanding with the Division to act as the Youth Certifying Agency for the purpose of this program.
  7. F.  “2005 Tax Year” means a tax year that begins on or after January 1, 2005 and ends on or before November 30, 2006, but does not exceed a 12 month period.
  8. G.  “2006 Tax Year” means a tax year that begins on or after January 1, 2006 and ends on or before November 30, 2007, but does not exceed a 12 month period.
  9. H.  “Non-exempt” means that the local business has not claimed an exemption from the requirements of the Business License Law as defined and provided for in 7.02.400.

7.02.810 Credits Issued.

  1. A.  For the 2005 tax year, a total of 100 refundable credits of $500 each will be available to non-exempt local businesses. For the 2006 tax year, a total of 100 refundable credits of $500 each will be available to non-exempt local businesses.  The credit is non-refundable if the local business was exempt during the tax year in which it claimed the credit. The credit cannot be used to offset amounts due under the Multnomah County Business Income Tax.
  2. B.   The 100 refundable credits allocated per year will be issued on a first come, first served basis as measured by the date on which the youth certifying agency completes the certification process for any particular business.
  3. C.  A maximum of four (4) credits can be claimed on the tax return based on the taxable income for the tax year in which the credit is claimed.  If a consolidated, combined or joint return is required to be filed under Section 7.02.110 B., the consolidated, combined or joint group is limited to a maximum of four (4) credits.
  4. D.  Credit certificates can only be used in the tax year in which they are claimed and cannot be used in any other tax year.
  5. E.  For the 2005 tax year, only hours worked after June 30, 2005 may be counted towards the 300 hour minimum requirement.
  6. F.  Businesses cannot count reimbursable or otherwise subsidized hours (wages) toward the 300 hours.
  7. G.  A business may claim a credit for the same disconnected youth in successive tax years, provided that the youth works the required minimum 300 hours in each tax year.
  8. H.  The 300 hour requirement must be completed during the business’ fiscal tax year rather than the calendar year.

7.02.820 Obligations of Participating Businesses.

  1. To be eligible to receive a refundable credit and participate in the program, a local business must do each of the following:
  2. A. Submit an application to the youth certifying agency that includes an intent to employ an eligible disconnected youth for an average of 25 hours per week and a minimum of 300 hours within four months.  
  3. B. Contact one or more qualified youth employment organizations for assistance in identifying youth, enrolling a specific youth in one of the qualified youth employment programs in order to pursue eligibility of the youth in the program, and/or seek assistance working with a youth to increase his/her opportunity for employment success. 
  4. C. Complete employee evaluations or conduct reviews of employees that fall under this program;
  5. D. Report employment data for each youth to the participating qualified youth employment organization or the youth certifying agency.

7.02.840 Frivolous Filing.

(Amended by Ordinance 191011, effective October 28, 2022.) 

  1.  A $500 penalty will be assessed if a taxfiler takes a "frivolous position" in respect to preparing the taxfiler’s tax return.  A tax return is considered frivolous if a taxfiler does not provide information on which the substantial correctness of the self-assessment may be judged or if the tax return contains information that on its face indicates that the self-assessment is substantially incorrect.  Examples of “frivolous positions” as provided in Oregon Administrative Rule 150-316-0652 are hereby adopted by direct reference.

7.02.850 Hacking.

(Amended by Ordinances 187339 and 189389, effective February 21, 2019.)

  1. A.  Any individual who intentionally accesses the Division’s computer database without authorization will be fined:
    1. 1.  $10,000 if the individual acquires any information regarding any business account found in the database;
    2. 2.  $10,000 or the cost of the loss (whichever is greater) if the individual uses or attempts to use the acquired information for financial gain of any kind; or 
    3. 3.  $10,000 or the cost of the loss (whichever is greater) if the individual causes the transmission of a program, information, code, or command to the Division’s computer database, and, as a result of such conduct, causes damage to the database.
  2. B.  Definitions.  As used in this Section:
    1. 1.  the term “Division’s computer database” means computer application(s) used by the Division to calculate and store business and financial data collected under the authority granted by the Business License Law; 
    2. 2.  the term “loss” means any reasonable cost incurred by the City of Portland, including but not limited to the cost of responding to an offense, conducting a damage assessment, and restoring the data, program, system, or information to its condition prior to the offense, and any revenue lost, cost incurred, or other consequential damages incurred because of interruption of service; 
    3. 3.  the term "damage" means any impairment to the integrity or availability of data, a program, a system, or information.

7.02.860 First Year Adjustment Credit.

(Amended by Ordinances 182427 and 187339, effective October 16, 2015.)

  1. A.  Any taxfiler that was assessed a “First Year Adjustment” fee on a prior tax filing and has been licensed in all consecutive years since is entitled to receive a credit equal to that amount.  The credit will be applied towards future City tax filings as a prepayment.
  2. B.  If the amount of the credit cannot be determined from Division records, a rebuttable presumption exists that the credit amount is equal to the amount of the minimum fee payment due for the tax year in which the City assessed the “First Year Adjustment” fee.  A taxfiler may present evidence to the Division showing that its First Year Adjust fee was higher than the minimum fee amount due for a particular tax year.
  3. C.  Once the credit amount is determined, the Division will apply 100 percent of that amount towards tax payments due and owing for the 2008 license tax year.  If that credit amount exceeds the tax amount due for the 2008 license tax year, the City will issue a refund for the difference or credit the overpayment forward to the next tax year if requested by the taxpayer.

7.02.870 Business Retention Credit for Qualifying Investment Management Firms.

(Added by Ordinance 183330, effective December 12, 2009.)

  1. A.  An Investment Management Firm is entitled to a credit against the total amount of its business license tax due.  The business retention credit is determined by subtracting from the business license tax due the greater of
    1. 1.  $6,000 times the number of owners, not including limited partners, subject to the Compensation Deductions allowed in Section 7.02.600 or
    2. 2.  30 percent of the total business license tax otherwise due.  If the resulting difference is a negative number, the amount of the credit will be zero.  Any allowed credit not used in a particular year will not be refunded and will not be carried forward to a succeeding tax year, except as provided in Subsection B.
  2. B.  For purposes of this credit, the “first tax year” would be a tax year in which the Investment Management Firm is doing business in the City of Portland and either
    1. 1.  The Investment Management Firm was not doing business in the City of Portland in the prior tax year or
    2. 2.  The prior tax year began prior to January 1, 2009.
      1. a.  In the first tax year, the credit is limited to 50 percent of the amount calculated in Subsection A. The remaining 50 percent shall be deferred and can only be claimed in the third of three consecutive tax years (in which the Investment Management Firm is doing business in the City of Portland) starting with the first tax year as defined above.
      2. b.  In the second consecutive tax year that the Investment Management Firm is doing business in the City of Portland, the credit is limited to 50 percent of the amount calculated in Subsection A. The remaining 50 percent shall be deferred and can only be claimed in the fourth of four consecutive tax years (in which the Investment Management Firm is doing business in the City of Portland) starting with the first tax year as defined above.
      3. c.  In the third consecutive tax year that the Investment Management Firm is doing business in the City of Portland, the Investment Management Firm, in addition to the full credit calculated in Subsection A, can claim the 50 percent deferred credit that was calculated in Subsection a. above.
      4. d.  In the fourth consecutive tax year that the Investment Management Firm is doing business in the City of Portland, the Investment Management Firm, in addition to the full credit calculated in Subsection A, can claim the 50 percent deferred credit that was calculated in Subsection b. above.
  3. C.  “Investment Management Firm” means a taxpayer that satisfies each of the following requirements during the tax year that the credit is sought:
    1. 1.  At least 90 percent of the firm’s gross income for the tax year must consist of fees that are
      1. a.  Received from Diversified Investing Fund or from persons unrelated to the firm, and
      2. b.  Determined as a percentage of the value of assets managed by the firm (including payments to the firm from their parties if the payments are credited against or offset such fees in whole or in part).
    2. 2.  At least 90 percent of the assets managed by the firm must consist of Qualifying Investment Securities.
    3. 3.  A majority of the voting interests in the firm must be owned by persons who received compensation from the firm that is subject to the Owner’s Compensation Deduction in Section 7.02.600.
    4. 4.  The firm was physically located within the City of Portland boundaries at the end of the tax year.
  4. D.  The terms “Diversified Investing Fund” and “Qualified Investment Securities” have the meanings as defined by Administrative Rule.
  5. E.  This credit is available for tax years beginning on or after January 1, 2009.

7.02.875 Downtown Business Incentive Credit.

(Added by Ordinance 191451; amended by Ordinance 191644, effective February 28, 2024.)

  1. A. Businesses eligible for the Downtown Business Incentive Credit:
    1. 1. A business located within the Central City may be eligible for a Downtown Business Incentive (DBI) credit against its Business License Tax (BLT) due.

      2. For purposes of this credit, the Central City is that area within the boundaries, and the tax lots abutting those boundaries, described below:

      The Central City is that area within the boundaries established by the I-405 Fwy, from the Fremont Bridge to N Stanton St; the I-5 Fwy, from N Stanton to a point due west of NE Schuyler St; NE Schuyler St, from a point due west on the I-5 Fwy (through tax lots) to NE 16th Ave; NE 16th Ave, from NE Schuyler St to NE Multnomah St; NE 16th Dr from NE Multnomah St to NE 12th Ave; NE 12th Ave, from NE 16th Dr to the railroad right-of-way; the railroad right of way, from SE 12th Ave to SE Powell Blvd; SE Powell Blvd, from the railroad right-of-way to the Willamette River on the Ross Island Bridge; the Willamette River, from the Ross Island Bridge to a point due east of S Hamilton Ct; S Hamilton Ct; from a point due east to S Macadam Ave; S Macadam Ave, from S Hamilton Ct to a point in line with the north edge of tax lot R247833; tax lot R247833 boundary, from S Macadam Ave to the I-5 Fwy; the I-5 Fwy, from a point in line with the north edge of tax lot R247833 to the I-405 Fwy; the I-405 Fwy, from the I-5 Fwy to the Sunset Hwy; the Sunset Hwy, from the I-405 Fwy to a point in line with the west edge of tax lot R213476; following and intersecting tax lots (R213476, R213477, R213483, R213481, R213486, R128326, R128324, R499778), from the west edge of tax lot R213476 to SW 21st Ave; SW 21st Ave, from SW Market Street Dr to a point in line with the north edge of tax lot R238620; following and intersecting tax lots (R238620, R238619, R238618, R128349, R123869, R128350, R326772), from the north edge of tax lot R238620 to SW Vista Ave; SW Vista Ave, from a point in line with the south edge of tax lot R326772 to the south edge of tax lot R107412; following and intersecting tax lots (R107412, R107411, R107408, R107409, R623631, R623633, R105821, R105820, R105814, R105819, R105797), from SW Vista Ave to SW 20th Ave; SW 20th Ave, from the northern edge of tax lot R105797 to the southern edge of tax lot R541677; following tax lot R541677, from SW 20th Ave to SW Main St; SW Main St from the western edge of tax lot R541677 to the western edge of tax lot R105807; following tax lots (R105807, R105808), from SW Main St to SW Salmon St; SW Salmon St from the west edge of tax lot R105808 to SW 21st Ave; SW 21st Ave, from SW Salmon St to SW Taylor St; SW Taylor St from SW 21st Ave to the west edge of tax lot R316760; following tax lot R316760, from SW Taylor St to SW Yamhill St; SW Yamhill St from the west edge of R316760 to SW King Ave; SW King Ave, from SW Yamhill St to the south edge of tax lot R193332; following tax lots (R193332, R193339, R193338, R193337), from SW King Ave to SW St Clair Ave; following and intersecting tax lots (R193348, R193349), from SW St Clair Ave to SW Green Ave; SW Green Ave, from SW Vista Ave to SW Osage St; SW Osage St, from SW Green Ave to W Burnside St; W Burnside St, from SW Osage St to a point intersecting tax lot R577748; intersecting tax lot R577748, from W Burnside St to NW Westover Rd; NW Westover Rd, from NW Flanders St to NW 23rd Ave; NW 23rd Ave, from NW Westover Rd to the south edge of tax lot R277713; following tax lots (R277713, R277708, R277700, R198696), from NW 23rd Ave to NW 22nd Ave; NW 22nd Ave, from the north edge of tax lot R198696 to the south edge of tax lot R198679; following tax lots (R198679, R143138), from NW 22nd Ave to NW King Ave; NW King Ave, from the south edge of tax lot R143138 to the south edge of tax lot R143133; following tax lot R143133 from NW King Ave to the west edge of tax lot R198678; following tax lot R198678, from the south edge of tax lot R143133 to NW Davis St; NW Davis St, from the west edge of tax lot R198678 to NW 21st Ave; NW 21st Ave, from NW Davis St to the south edge of tax lot R198673; following tax lots (R198673, R198670), from NW 21st Ave to NW 20th Pl; NW 20th Pl, from the north edge of tax lot R198670 to the south edge of R198664; following tax lot R198660, from NW 20th Pl to NW 20th Ave; NW 20th Ave, from the north edge of tax lot R198660 to the north edge of tax lot R141193; following tax lots (R141193, R141205, R198657, R198658, R198656, R141206), from NW 20th Ave to NW Trinity Pl; NW Trinity Pl, from the south edge of tax lot R141206 to the south edge of tax lot R141200; following and intersecting tax lots (R141200, R141198), from NW Trinity Pl to NW 19th Ave; NW 19th Ave, from the intersection point through tax lot R141198 to NW Couch St; NW Couch St, from NW 19th Ave to NW 18th Ave; NW 18th Ave, from NW Couch St to the south edge of tax lot R140866; following tax lots (R140866, R592298), from NW 18th Ave to NW Couch St; NW Couch St, from the east edge of tax lot R592298 to the I-405 Fwy; the I-405 Fwy, from NW Couch St to the Fremont Bridge; the Fremont Bridge from the I-405 Fwy to NW Front Ave; NW Front Ave, from the Fremont Bridge to just south of tax lot R298562; intersecting tax lots (R298517, R298565), from NW Front Ave to NW 17th Ave; railroad right-of-way, from NW 17th Ave to the north edge of tax lot R269769; following tax lots (R269769, R269771), from the railroad right-of-way to the Willamette River; the Willamette River from the point in line with the north edge of tax lot R269771 to the Fremont Bridge. 

    2. 3. Criteria for qualifying for, calculating, and claiming the credit are in Subsections D., E., and F.
  2. B. A one-time DBI credit is available in either calendar year 2023 or 2024, but not both. If the year of origination is 2023, the credit will be calculated on the tax year 2023 BLT return. If the year of origination is 2024, the credit will be on the tax year 2024 BLT return. The credit is divided and taken equally over four years beginning with the tax year of origination. The one fourth of the credit allowed in each tax year cannot exceed the amount of tax owed in the year. There is no carryover of any unused credit and the credit is nonrefundable.
  3. C. Pre-return application for the credit:
    1. 1. A BLT taxpayer that qualifies for a DBI credit under Subsection D. must apply to the Revenue Division for preapproval of the credit amount the taxpayer may claim.
    2. 2. The total amount of credits the Revenue Division can approve for all taxpayers is limited to $25 million over the two years of the program. In the event that the total amount of the credits claimed exceeds this limit, the Revenue Division will reduce the amount of the credit each qualifying BLT taxpayer may claim on a pro rata basis. 
  4. D. Qualifying for the credit:
  5. A BLT taxpayer is eligible for the credit if it meets each of criteria in Subsections 3. through 5. as applicable plus either criterion in Subsections 1. or 2.
    1. 1. The taxpayer enters into a new lease, or extends a current lease, during the 2023 or 2024 calendar year for building space within the eligible sub-district boundaries for a period of four years or more; or
    2. 2. The taxpayer owns and occupies that building space within the eligible sub-district boundaries; and
    3. 3. The taxpayer maintains at least 15 employees with each employee working at least half their time in the leased or owned building space within the eligible sub-district boundaries over the four year period. The taxpayer must file/provide an attestation for each tax year that they claim the credit.
    4. 4. If leased building space, a lease/extension entered into in 2023 may be used to calculate the credit on either the 2023 or 2024 BLT return. The year of origination will be 2023 if calculated on the 2023 BLT return or 2024 if calculated on the 2024 BLT return. Building space owned during 2023 can also be used to calculate the credit on either the 2023 or 2024 BLT return.
    5. 5. If leased building space, an extended lease must be extended from the end date of an existing lease.
  6. E. Calculating the credit:
  7. The maximum credit is $250,000 in the year of origination, limited to the lesser of:
    1. 1. 100 percent of “City of Portland Business License Tax” as shown on the BLT return, Section IV, in the year of origination; or
    2. 2. 1 percent of “income subject to tax” as shown on the BLT return, Section IV, in the year of origination; or
    3. 3. $30 per square footage of building space covered in the lease/extension or building space used by a building owner’s staff.
    4. 4. The amount approved or adjusted by application of Subsection C.
  8. F. Claiming the credit:
  9. The credit calculated in Subsection E. is divided by four, with 1/4 of the credit claimed on the BLT return in the year of origination and 1/4 claimed on the BLT return for each of the succeeding consecutive three years.
    1. 1. The portion of the credit claimed, in each of the four years the credit is claimed, cannot exceed the “City of Portland Business License Tax” amount in Section IV of the BLT return for that year.
    2. 2. If the portion of the credit allowed for one of the years exceeds the “City of Portland Business License Tax” amount in Section IV of the BLT return for that year, it cannot be carried or used on the BLT return for another year.
  10. G. If a taxpayer breaks the lease/extension prior to the end of the lease/extension period, sells the building sold before the four-year period of the credit, or fails to meet the requirements of Subsection D.3. above during the four-year period of the credit, the entire credit previously claimed must be repaid with statutory interest under Section 7.02.710. No penalty will apply to the tax due related to the lost credit.
  11. H. The Director may adopt rules, written policies, forms, and procedures in its administration of this Section as provided by Portland City Code Section 7.02.210.

7.02.880 Youth Employment Credit Programs.

(Added by Ordinance 184716; amended by Ordinance 187339, effective October 16, 2015.)

  1. A.  For tax years beginning on or after January 1, 2011, any youth employment credit authorized by City Council will use the terms defined below or as defined by written policy adopted under Section 7.02.210 unless the context requires otherwise.
    1. 1.  “Local Business” means a business operating in the pursuit of profit, gain or the production of income that:
      1. a.  has at least one physical location (such as an office, warehouse, store or restaurant) within the geographic boundaries of the State of Oregon and/or Clark County, Washington ; and
      2. b.  is registered to do business in the State of Oregon and said registration has not expired or otherwise been dissolved; or is a sole proprietorship that is not legally required to register to do business in the State of Oregon ; and
      3. c.  has a current account with the City of Portland and has complied with all filing and payment requirements of Portland ’s Business License Law and the Multnomah County’s Business Income Tax Law.
    2. 2.  “Non-exempt” means the local business has not claimed an exemption from the requirements of the Business License Law as defined and provided for in 7.02.400.
    3. 3.  “Tax Year” means any tax year allowed by the Internal Revenue Service and/or State of Oregon and used by the business to file their income taxes and begins during the year identified as the tax year of the credit. 
    4. 4.  “Youth Certifying Agency” means the agency that is responsible for determining youth that qualify for one or more Youth Employment Credit programs.
  2. B.  Credits issued under a Youth Employment Credit program will have the following features:
    1. 1.  Credits will be non-refundable;
    2. 2.  There will be a maximum number of credits per tax year per program;
    3. 3.  There will be a maximum number of credits that can be claimed by a Local Business in any given tax year;
    4. 4.  No individual credit will exceed $500; and
    5. 5.  Credit certificates or letters will be provided by the Revenue Division to be attached to the tax return claiming the credit(s).
  3. C.  Each Youth Employment Credit program will outline any youth qualifications and business obligations to qualify for the credit, including but not limited to the number of hours and the length of time that the youth must be employed to qualify for the credit, the definitions of a qualifying youth, the certifying agencies for either the youth qualifications for the program or obligations of the business to obtain the credit, and any program goals and results that should be attained for renewal if the program is a pilot program. 

7.02.881 Foster Youth Employment Opportunity Credit.

(Added by Ordinance 184716; amended by Ordinance 187339, effective October 16, 2015.)

  1. A.  A Youth Employment Credit, known as the Foster Youth Employment Opportunity Credit, is available for tax years 2011 and 2012 to local businesses that employ foster youth certified by the State of Oregon Department of Human Services (DHS).
  2. B.  For each tax year, 25 non-refundable $500 credits are available on a first-come, first-served basis.  An individual business can claim one credit for each separate foster youth employed for the minimum required hours, up to a maximum of four (4) credits in one tax year.
  3. C.  To qualify for the credit, a business must:
    1. 1.  Employ a certified foster youth.
    2. a.  If the foster youth is enrolled in an educational program, the youth must average 12 hours per week and must have worked at least 200 hours in a six month period; or
    3. b.  If the foster youth is not enrolled in an educational program, the youth must average 25 hours per week and must have worked at least 400 hours in a six month period.
    4. 2.  Submit the following documentation no later than one month following the close of the tax year in which the credit is to be claimed. The documentation can be submitted at any time once the youth has worked sufficient hours to qualify for the credit.
      1. a.  A copy of the youth’s DHS certification;
      2. b.  Sufficient summary payroll records that supports the average hours per week and total minimum hours required; and
      3. c.  Sufficient documentation of the school or other educational program where the youth was enrolled if claiming the credit based on Subsection 1.a. above.
    5. 3.  The Revenue Division will issue either a credit certificate or credit letter authorizing the maximum credit(s) for the tax year.

7.02.882 Youth Career Readiness Credit.

(Added by Ordinance 184716, effective August 5, 2011.)

  1. A.  A Youth Employment Credit, known as the Youth Career Readiness Credit, is available for tax years 2011 and 2012 as a pilot program with the goal to increase the number of students who graduate from high school “career-ready” by expanding the number of meaningful career-related learning experiences between the private sector and schools.
  2. B.  For purposes of the Youth Career Readiness Credit:
    1. 1.  “Career-Readiness” involves three major skill areas:  core academic skills and the ability to apply those skills to concrete situations in order to function in the workplace and in routine daily activities; employability skills (such as critical thinking and responsibility) that are essential in any career area; and technical, job-specific skills related to a specific career pathway.  These skills have been emphasized across numerous pieces of research and allow students to enter true career pathways that offer family-sustaining wages and opportunities for advancement.
    2. 2.  “Career-Related Learning Experiences” (CRLEs) are structured student activities in the community, the workplace or in the school that connect academic content and career-related learning to real life applications.  These experiences extend, reinforce and support classroom learning and also help students to clarify career goals and usually take form as “Career Awareness Activities”, “Career Exploration Activities” and “Career Preparation Activities”.
    3. 3.  “Career Awareness Activities” include workplace tours and field trips, career and job fairs and guest speakers.
    4. 4.  “Career Exploration Activities” include job shadowing, informational and mock interviews, career mentoring and enterprise and community-based projects.
    5. 5.  “Career Preparation Activities” include work experience, internships and apprenticeships.
    6. 6.  “CRLE Certifying Agency” means the partner agency that has entered into an agreement or other memorandum of understanding with the City to act as the certifying agency for CRLE programs and will issue the credit certificate to each qualifying business program.
  3. C.  For each tax year, 75 non-refundable $500 credits are available on a first-come, first-served basis, to Local Businesses that provide substantial career-readiness activities to high school students.  An individual business can claim credits for each separate career readiness activity, up to a maximum of four (4) credits.  However, no more than two (2) credits can be claimed for Career Awareness Activities.
  4. D.  To qualify for the credit, a business must:
    1. 1.  Provide a Career Awareness, Career Exploration or Career Preparation activities program with direct costs of more than $2,500 or in-kind value of more than $5,000.
    2. 2.  The CRLE program being provided by the business must be certified by the CRLE Certifying Agency.
    3. 3.  Complete the certified program as agreed to obtain the credit certificate from the CRLE Certifying Agency.

7.02.890 Residential Rental Registration Program.

(Added by Ordinance 189086; amended by Ordinances 190129 and 191586, effective February 16, 2024.)

  1. A.  For tax years beginning on or after January 1, 2018, all owners of a residential rental unit in the City are required to register the unit and annually provide a schedule that includes the address of all owned residential rental units within the City.  The Director may require additional data about the unit by administrative rule.  If a property or structure contains more than one dwelling unit, the term residential rental unit refers to each separate dwelling unit.
  2. B.  In the first tax year of the Residential Rental Registration Program, no additional fee will be imposed in connection with the registration. In subsequent years, a fee may be enacted to partially or fully recover the administration costs of the program in addition to other services as the Council may direct. Any fee schedule would be created and amended by administrative rule in accordance with Section 7.02.210.  Penalties shall not apply for failure to file rental registration data in the 2018 tax year.  Beginning in tax year 2019 and beyond, the penalty and interest provisions of Sections 7.02.700 and 7.02.710 A. shall apply.
  3. C.  A person who rents a space for a manufactured dwelling, recreational vehicle, or moorage space for a floating home, but does not rent the actual manufactured dwelling, recreational vehicle, or floating home, is exempt from the registration requirements of this Section.
  4. D. Also exempt from the registration requirements of this Section is any residential rental unit regulated or certified as affordable housing by federal, state, or local government, which requires the unit to be affordable to households earning no more than 60 percent of the median family income, as determined under guidelines established by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Upcoming and Recent Changes

Ordinance 191615

Effective Date

Ordinance 191644

Effective Date

Ordinance 191586

Effective Date

Ordinance 191486

Effective Date

Ordinance 191450

Effective Date

Ordinance 191451

Effective Date

Ordinance Number 191010

Effective Date

Ordinance Number 191011

Effective Date