The Oregon Tax on Intellectual Property has taken a new direction in its plan to curb the growth of technology companies, the state’s top tax official said Monday.
The new tax, which is in effect for the first time, applies to companies that sell software or software-related goods and services to consumers, according to the state Office of Revenue.
The new tax applies to all intellectual property.
The Oregon Tax Commission will determine the new tax rate on April 1.
The commission, which includes the Oregon Health Authority and the Oregon Treasury Department, will then determine the appropriate percentage tax to be levied, said Oregon Tax Commissioner Rob Noland, who was appointed to the post in August.
Oregon’s tax law, passed in 2013, requires that all intellectual properties sold to the public be subject to a 2 percent tax.
The tax on software companies, which also is subject to state tax, has long been the most controversial part of the tax code.
The tax is also the first to apply to companies who do business through a mail order system, which creates a separate tax liability.
Under that system, companies are not required to pay sales tax and are exempt from paying income taxes on the value of the software they distribute to customers.
The agency is currently reviewing a number of proposals to eliminate the tax, but the main focus has been on eliminating it as part of a larger strategy to reduce state spending.
The move comes as the tax revenue that Oregon receives from its sales tax is projected to drop by nearly $1 billion over the next decade.
The state’s tax rate is projected at 4.9 percent this year, down from 6.9 in 2014.
That’s due to the fact that more people are using the tax-free online services such as PayPal, Amazon and eBay, which have reduced their costs and brought in more revenue, Noland said.
The state also faces a looming shortfall in the amount of revenue it will receive from its state and local sales tax, as well as from the state income tax.
Oregon is projected $1.5 billion short of the $1 trillion state and federal governments are projecting to be in a deficit over the coming decade.