Fierce opposition from farmers seems to have convinced Oregon lawmakers to back away from changing key agricultural property tax provisions.

SALEM — Intense opposition by Oregon's farmers, ranchers and forestland owners has apparently convinced lawmakers to back away from altering key property tax provisions affecting agriculture and forestry.

Machinery used for agriculture and forestry is exempt from property tax assessments while property dedicated to producing crops, livestock and timber is less heavily taxed than other real estate.

Under the original language of House Bill 2859, the property tax exemption for equipment and the farm use assessment for land would expire in 2024 unless renewed by lawmakers.

The proposal evoked alarm in Oregon's natural resource community, which turned out in full force at a March 1 hearing to argue that creating a "sunset" for these provisions would financially destabilize farming, ranching and forestry.

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