Oregon's Tax Court is a trial court with exclusive statewide jurisdiction over all tax matters and questions about the law related to tax issues. Some of the types of cases heard in Tax Court are personal income tax appeals, corporate excise tax issues, matters related to timber tax and cigarette tax, property tax cases and constitutional property tax limitations and local budget law issues. Tax Court does not use juries.
The Oregon Tax Court has two divisions: The Magistrate Division and the Regular Division. All cases first start at the Magistrate Division which is overseen by a magistrate (an appointed, sworn judicial officer trained in tax law). Tax Court begins with a mediation process. If this fails, the magistrate holds a trial and forms an opinion. If the parties are unhappy with the magistrate's opinion, they may appeal. This appeal will go to the Regular Division where the case is processed "de novo" (meaning a new case is tried) by the Tax Court judge. There is 1 Tax Court judge in Oregon and three tax magistrates. The Tax Court judge is elected into his or her position. If any decisions from the Regular Division are appealed, they go directly to the Supreme Court.
The Oregon Judicial Branch website has a special section where both the Magistrate Division and Regular Division opinions are posted for public review. All files are in PDF format to provide an easily downloadable and printable version to patrons of the court. The website also has a contact form where users can ask questions to get additional details about the court or a specific opinion. Additionally, there are links to self-help topics for people representing themselves in court, attorney resources, and a sitemap to help navigate the website.