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Oregon Farmworker Housing Tax Credit Program

CASA of Oregon was consulted in the design of the Oregon Farmworker Housing Tax Credit Program and has been instrumental in helping growers and non-profit agencies use the credits as a funding source for farmworker housing.  The Oregon Farmworker Housing Tax Credit Program is managed by the Oregon Housing and Community Services (OHCS) Department and the Oregon Department of Revenue.  It is a state income tax credit available to persons or organizations who invest in farmworker housing.

The program is designed to give a state income tax credit to organizations or individuals who incur costs to construct, install or rehabilitate farmworker housing.  Although they aren't required to pay taxes, a non-profit organization may also be eligible for this tax credit by "assigning" it to an investor who invests money into the housing project.  There is also a tax credit (administered by the Oregon Department of Revenue) for lenders who make loans for the construction, rehabilitation and installation of farmworker housing. If money is being borrowed to help finance farmworker housing, both the borrower and the lender are eligible for a tax credit.

Eligibility Requirements

  • Farmworker housing is housing that is occupied by farmworkers and their immediate families during the year. The housing can be year-round or seasonal housing, in-town or on-farm, stick-built or manufactured. The housing must be located in Oregon and remain designated for farmworker use for a minimum of 10 years. A farmworker is defined as someone who, for pay, performs labor, seasonally or year-round in:
    • the production of farm products; or
    • the planting, cultivation or harvesting of nursery stock or agricultural crops; or
    • the forestation or reforestation of lands, including the planting, transplanting, tubing pre-commercial thinning and thinning of trees and seedlings, the clearing, piling and disposal of brush and slash and other related activities. Aquaculture is NOT farm work, according to this definition. Occupants can work part of the year as farmworkers and have other non-farm work jobs part of the year.  As long as one family member in the housing unit has been a farmworker either seasonally or year-round while living there, the housing unit will qualify.  Immediate family members can have non-farm work jobs some or all of the year and the housing unit will still qualify.

 

  • Only the amount paid for "eligible costs" can be included in calculating the tax credit. Eligible costs are those costs directly associated with the acquisition, construction, installation or rehabilitation of seasonal or year-round farmworker housing.
  • Capital expenditures for rehabilitation of existing housing are eligible; routine maintenance expenses are not.
  • The cost of buying land does not qualify.
  • The purchase and installation of new manufacturing housing qualifies. The state income tax credit may be taken over a period of no fewer and no more than 10 years with no more than 20 percent of the total credit taken in any one year.
  • The housing can be year-round or seasonal housing, in-town or on-farm.
  • In a multi-unit dwelling, not all units need to be farmworker housing, provided that the tax credit is apportioned according to the percentage of units that are farmworker housing and provide that a fixed group of units is so identified.

For more details about the program, please contact Brett Sheehan.

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