Independence Community Profile

PO Box 7, 555 South Main Street, Independence, OR 97351
Phone 503-838-1212 • Fax 503-838-5548
Web Page

City Location

County(ies): Polk    Incorporated in 1874
Location: Mid-Willamette Valley
Nearest Major Highway and Distance: I-5 | 12 miles
Nearest Major City and Distance:
Salem | 12 miles, Estimated Drive Time: 15 minutes
Distance to Portland: 59 miles

Source: Oregon Department of Transportation, State of Oregon Map; Oregon Blue Book

Recreational Amenities

3 city parks, Helmick State Park, Champoeg State Park, Silver Creek Falls State Park, Siuslaw National Forest, Willamette National Forest.

Planning a vacation or a tour through an area of Oregon? Visit the Oregon Tourism Commission's web site at for more information.

Source: City Administration, local chamber of commerce, local convention and visitor bureau


Elevation: 168'      Measurement Location: Salem

Monthly Ave. Low: 33°F           Monthly Ave. High: 82°F
Hottest Month: August                   Coldest Month: January
Driest Month: July                    Wettest Month: December
Average annual precipitation: 39.240"

Humidity (Hour 10, local time):
Average July afternoon humidity: 57%
Average January afternoon humidity: 84%

Source: Oregon Climate Service

Information in the Community Profiles was derived from many sources, including local, state and federal sources. The Oregon Business Development Department cannot accept responsibility for errors or omissions. Questions and comments may be directed to the department by telephone 503-986-0123, by fax 503-581-5115 or by email

Profile Topics

Community Age Groups
Industries and Products
Demographic Data
5 Largest Employers
Economic Development Orgs
Financial Institutions
Business Taxes
Public Safety
Community Communications
Water Supply
Wastewater Treatment System
Natural Gas & Electrical

Profiles Home Page



City of Independence4,425 6,035 7,515 7,715
Polk County 49,541 62,380 65,670 66,670
Sources: 1990, 2000 US Census; 2205, 2006 Center for Population Research and Census, Portland State University. 0 indicates data is unavailable.

Polk County 745 sq miles   89 persons/sq mile Sources: figures based on 2006 PSU population estimates;
Oregon Bluebook county square mileage

Community Age Groups

Under 5 years0 432 421 504

5-19 years0 1,052 1,214 1,530

20-44 years0 1,525 1,745 2,245

45-64 years0 583 566 1,211

65+ years0 432 479 545

Median Age0 27 30 28.9

Source: US Census, 0 or N/A indicates data is not available. Median value is the middle value, not an average.


Total Housing Units1970198019902000Median Value of
Housing, 2000
City of Independence729 1,382 1,539 2,066 $100,900
Polk County 10,108 15,870 18,978 24,461 $142,700

City of Independence 2000 Housing Breakout:Also visit Housing and
Community Services Web Site:
Vacancy Rate:5.03%
Median Owner Cost
Owner Occupied:1,284

Renter Occupied:710
Median Gross Rent:$628

Source: US Census. Median value is the middle value, not an average.

Economic Development and Employment

Principal Industries of the County(ies):
Polk County—Agriculture, forest products, heavy manufacturing, education

Source: Oregon Employment Department, Covered Employment and Payroll Reports, 1998

Agricultural Products of the Area (Top 3 largest gross farm sales):
Polk County—Grass and legume seeds, specialty products, dairy products

Source: Oregon State University, Extension Economic Information Office

Total Number of Manufacturing Companies in the County:
Polk County 96

Source: Oregon Employment Department, Covered Employment and Payroll Reports, 1998

Total Number of Manufacturing Companies in the City: 18
Source: City Administration

Economic Indicators

Polk CountyOregon


Labor Force30,96231,4101,802,9381,793,7731,840,133
Total Employment1,715,4531,679,9141,701,390
Unemployment Rate5.9%6.3%4.9%6.3%7.5%
Non-Farm Payroll Employment01,606,8001,596,1001,572,500
Total Covered Employment15,68916,1451,607,9441,596,9431,573,083
Total Covered Payroll
($ thousands county/
$ millions state)
Ave. Annual Payroll Per Employee$24,698$25,934$32,776$33,202$33,684
Number of Business Units1,2021,220108,432111,353113,097
Total Personal Income ($ millions)$156,981$163,164$94,999$98,500$101,358
Annual Per Capita Personal Income$$25,241$27,649$28,40028,792
Assessed Value of Property ($ millions)$0$3,630$198,911$210,435$219,878
Residential Construction
  Building Permits
  Value ($ thousands)





Travel Expenditures ($ millions)$0$152,000$6,133$6,128$6,208
Travel-Related Employment02,51089,80091,10090,200

 Preliminary Data
Sources: Oregon Employment Department; Center for Population Research & Census, PSU; U.S. Census Bureau; Bureau of Economic Analysis; Oregon Tourism Commission; Oregon Department of Revenue; Oregon Economic and Community Development Department.

5 Largest Employers, Public and Private as of August, 2002

Employer—Product/ServiceNumber of
Central School District 13J—Education 310

Marquis Corp—Spa Manufacturer 290

Medallion Cabinetry—Cabinet Mfg. 188

Robert Lloyd Sheet Metal, Inc.—Mfg & Install Metal Heating Duct work 100

Boise Cascade/Timber & Wood—Lumber 70

Source: City Administration

Oregon Employment Labor Market Information

This link takes you to the Oregon Employment Department, Labor Market Analysis database. County information can be obtained here.—Click on Regional Information.

Local and Regional Economic Development Organizations

City of Independence— 503-838-1212

Mid-Willamette Valley Council of Governments— 503-588-6177

Economic & Community Development Department Regional Development Officer— 503-485-9806

Source: City Administration, local chamber of commerce, Oregon Economic and Community Development Department


Public and Private Schools K–12

Public School District:
Central School District 13J
1610 Monmouth St
Independence, OR 97351-1096
Phone: 503-838-0030
Fax: 503-838-0033

Staff and Enrollments:
District Certified Staff: reported October 2000—160
Total District Enrollment: reported October 2001—2,628

Other Schools in the School District (Private, Parochial)
To see if there are private and/or parochial schools in this district please visit

Source: Oregon Department of Education

Oregon Community Colleges and Public Universities

Oregon map with higher ed institutions identified

legend for map

For a list of public and private educational institutions in Oregon visit


Oregon Economic and Community Development Department Workforce Advocate 503–986–0207, or visit Locate local workforce assistance at

Financial Information

Financial Institutions

Commercial Banks: 1   Savings and Loans: 0   Credit Unions: 0

Source: City Administration


Sales Tax Oregon has no general sales tax.

Property Tax
Property—Who pays? Owners of real and business personal property, according to the assessed value of taxable residential, commercial, farm, industrial, utility and timber property.

County assessors use permanent rates set for all taxing districts in fiscal year 1997–98, when taxes were significantly reduced with a statewide average 17 percent cut in tax levies. Certain types of levies are outside this reduction. The tax rates cannot exceed $15 per $1,000 of real market value. For 1997–98, all property was valued by county assessors at 90 percent of the July 1, 1995, levels. For subsequent years, assessed values are limited to a 3 percent annual growth rate. Construction since July 1, 1995, is valued at the average rate of similar properties in the area. Business personal property requires annual filing. One–third payment is due by November 15. If fully paid by November 15, a 3 percent discount is allowed. Special exemptions, tax relief programs and deferrals are available. For more information contact the Polk County assessor’s office at 503–623–8391.

Tax rates are representative of the largest tax code in the city. The rates are expressed as tax liability per $1,000 of assessed property value.

Polk County
Average Compressed Tax Rate 1997-98$14.93
Average Compressed Tax Rate 1998-99$14.42
Average 1999 Housing Value$96,171
Ave Res Property Tax Paid on Ave House 1997-98$0
Ave Res Property Tax Paid on Ave House 1998-99$1,386.79
Average School rate 1998-99 . . . . . . . . $7.97

Average Non-School Rate 1998-99. . . . $9.83

Average City Rate 1998-99 . . . . . . . . . $5.84

Business Taxes
Property—see above

Income—Corporations doing or authorized to do business in Oregon pay excise tax. Corporations not doing or authorized to do business, but having income from an Oregon source, pay income tax. For more information contact the Oregon Department of Revenue, 955 Center St., NE, Salem, OR 97301, 503–378–4988,

Unemployment Insurance—Employers pay this. For 2002, new employers are assigned a fixed rate of 3 percent of taxable wage base. Tax rates for existing employers are based on employers' experience and range from 1 percent to 5.4 percent of taxable wage base. Taxes are paid quarterly and are due by the end of the month following the quarter. In 2002, the tax is paid on the first $25,000 of wages paid to each employee. The rate schedule in effect depends on the balance in the Trust Fund as of August 31 each year and the amount of revenue needed to maintain the balance at a level adequate to pay benefits. For more information contact the Oregon Employment Department, 875 Union St., NE, Salem, OR 97301, 503–947–1488, web

Utilities, Railroad, Weight-mile—Who pays? All railroads and investor-owned utilities operating with the state pay an annual fee. For-hire and private motor carriers operating into, within and through the state pay weight-mile taxes. Rates—limit of .25 percent of gross operating revenues of investor-owned utilities; .25 percent charged on 2002 revenues. Limit of .35 percent on gross operating revenues of railroads; .267 percent charged in 2002 revenues. Applications, plate fees and per-mile rates dependent on declared combined weight of vehicle. For more information contact the Oregon Public Utility Commission, 550 Capitol St., NE, Suite 215, Salem, OR 97301–2551, 503–378–6611, web; Oregon Department of Transportation, Rail Section, 555 13th St., NE, Salem, OR 97310–1333, 503–986–4125, web; Oregon Department of Transportation, Motor Carrier Transport Branch, 550 Capitol St., NE, Salem, OR 97301–3871, 503–378–6699, web

Oregon's Business Incentives.

Motor Vehicle Licensing, Driver Licensing, Fuels—Who pays? Owners and operators of motor vehicles. Oil companies importing fuels. Truckers using Oregon highways. Fees—Registration fees, driver license fees and renewals (contact the Oregon Driver & Motor Vehicle Services division 503–945–5000, web

Hunting and Fishing Licenses—contact Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, PO Box 59, Portland, OR 97207, general information 503–872–5268, licenses/tags/permits 503–872–5275, web

Amusement Device Tax—An excise tax is imposed upon every person who operates an amusement device in Oregon. An amusement device is a video lottery game terminal. More information from the Oregon Lottery Commission, 500 Airport Rd SE, Salem, 97301, web

Emergency Communications (9–1–1) Tax—Telephone companies providing local exchange access services in Oregon Collect this tax from their customers. The tax, which is $0.75 per line per month, is reported and paid quarterly. More information from the Oregon Department of Revenue, web

Hazardous Substance Fee—Paid by possessors of nonpetroleum hazardous substance. More information from the Oregon Department of Revenue, web

Petroleum Load Fee—Paid by petroleum suppliers and importers to Oregon. More information from the Oregon Department of Revenue, web

Timber Severance Tax—Paid by timber owners on harvested timber’s value. More information from the Oregon Department of Revenue, web

Forest Products Harvest Tax—Paid on timber cut from any land in Oregon. More information from the Oregon Department of Revenue, web

Dry Cleaning Tax—Paid by operators of dry cleaning facilities. More information from the Oregon Department of Revenue, web

Alcoholic Beverages—Manufacturers and/or import wholesalers of malt beverages and wines pay a privilege tax. Manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers of distilled spirits, malt beverages and wines pay license fees. Employees who serve alcoholic beverages pay for service permits. For more information contact the Oregon Liquor Control Commission, PO Box 22297, Portland, OR 97222, 503–872–5000 or 1–800–452–6522 (in Oregon), web

Tobacco Products—Cigarette and tobacco products distributors are required to purchase tax stamps for cigarettes or pay a percentage of the wholesale price on other tobacco products. More information from the Oregon Department of Revenue, web

Transit Payroll Tax–paid by employers in the Tri-Met (Portland area) and Lane Transit District (Eugene) for mass transit systems. Administered by the Department of Revenue, web

Many local governments in Oregon collect other taxes, such as hotel-motel taxes. Contact the city or county in which you are interested for more complete information about taxes in that area.

Source: Oregon Department of Revenue, “A Summary of Taxes,” January 2002; County information–County Assessor’s Office

Community Services and Resources

Public Safety/Emergency Services

Fire Station(s) serving community:
Number of paid and volunteer firefighters: 94
Rating by Insurance Services Organization (ISO):
Polk County Fire District #1

Police Department: Independence Police Department
Number of paid and reserve officers: 22

Nearest Hospital and distance: West Valley Hospital, 10 miles in Dallas
Regional Hospital and distance: West Valley Hospital, 10 miles in Dallas
Emergency services to community: Ambulance Service, Life Flight Service
General Clinic(s): 1

Source: City Administration

Communications Resources

Local Newspapers: Itemizer-Observer

Regional Newspapers: Statesman Journal (Salem)

Radio Stations: City receives 7 stations in Marion-Polk counties area

TV Stations: None

Available Cable Television: Charter Communications

Telephone Service Provider(s): Qwest

Local Internet Service Provider(s): Data unavailable at this time.
Number of Internet Service Providers: Data unavailable at this time.
Source: City Administration

Library System
1 public library

Source: City Administration

Planning Service/Regulatory

Regulatory SystemYear AcknowledgedYear Last
Year of Periodic ReviewComments
Comprehensive Plan1980 1987 1999
Zoning Ordinance

Building Permit System

Subdivision Ordinance

Strategic Plan

Territory Covered by Zoning
Municipality Yes     County Yes
Source: City Administration

Industrial Lands
Does the Community seek industrial development? Data unavailable at this time.
Access Statewide industrial lands database—
Source: Economic and Community Development Department

Special Districts and Associations (ports, water, sewer, etc.)
Name of Special District and the Oregon Revised Statute it was created under:
Ash Creek Water Control District; Mid-Polk 911 Communications Agency; Polk County E.S.D.; Polk County Fire District #1; Polk County S.W.C.D.; Public and Senior Transit District;

Special Districts Association of Oregon—727 Center St., NE Salem, OR 97301, 503–371–8667 or 800–285–5461
Source: City Administration


Water Supply

Operator: City of Independence
District: N/A
Source: Ground Water; 6 wells
Supply: Capacity (MGD)– ; Pressure (PSI)–65.00

Current Water Utilization on Meter Size (MGD): 1.88 MGD
Water Costs per thousand gallons: Base rate per/thousand = N/A
Water Costs for Total Consumption of Residential: Based on 7,000 gallons =

Age of Water System:

Water System Comment(s): System Development charges $1,653/single family, $1,322/multi-family unit, $2,353/1,000 sq. ft. comm/ind. Hook up fees based on meter size.

Compliance Issues: None

Water debt repayment included as part of tax assessment? Data unavailable at this time.

Date of Current Master Plan: 1997

Plans for Upgrading or Expanding: City has an adopted water system master plan.
Source: City Administration

Wastewater Treatment System

Operator: City of Independence          Age of Wastewater Collection System: 1950
District: N/A

System Design Capacity (MGD): 4.00 MGD     System Utilization (MGD): 2.50 MGD
Collection System Fees: $1,942/single fam.    Hook-up or Connection Fee: None
Access Fee or System Development Fee: None

Comment(s) on Wastewater System:

Compliance Issues:

Date of Last Facility Plan: 1996

Plans for Upgrade/Expansion: $3.5 million upgrade project completed 1998.

Storm Drain: No    Storm Water Discharge Fee:
Fees or issues related to storm drains:
Source: City Administration


Is there access to broadband

If yes, check all that apply:
Microwave  Fiberoptic  Satellite

Is there route diversity? Data unavailable at this time.
AccessMonthly FeeOther Fee
T1 Yes
Cable Data unavailable

For Oregon Telecommunications information and resources, visit

Natural Gas—Provider: Northwest Natural Gas
Lines and Feed: A range of sizes exists. Please contact Northwest Natural Gas at 503-226-4211 for more information.

Rate Structure: Residential rate is $.87016 per therm. Industrial and commercial rates vary. Please contact Northwest Natural Gas at 503-226-4211 for more information.

Plans for Upgrade/Expansion:

Electrical—Provider: Pacific Power & Light
Lines and Feed:

Rate Structure #4 Residential: $6.00/month + energy charge of $.05402/kwh

#25 Commercial: minimum charge $10.00/month + $.55/kw, $2.25/kwh over 15kw demand charge + $.0625 first 3,000 kwh energy charge

#48 Industrial: $240.00 + $.50/kwh 4,000 kw or less (over 4,000 kw $440.00 + $.45/kwh).
Billing demand charge of $2.77 for each kwh + energy charge of $.03275/kwh.

Plans for Upgrade/Expansion:

Solid Waste Management: Brandt Sanitary Service

Permit Status:

Utility Expansion Plans: None

Utilities Source: City Administration; PGE information supplied by PGE. Note: We update utility rates periodically. Actual rates may change more often than that. For the most current rate for any carrier please consult the Public Utilities Commission web site at Click on the Statistics 200x label (x being the most recent year).


Highways Hwy 51 N/W route, local access; Hwy 99W N/S route, access 2 miles   Transportation Access Fee: $0

Community Air Service Yes Independence State Airport If no local service, list closest Air Facility
Air Passenger Service: No
Airport Freight Service:
Air Service Comments:

Rail Service: Yes Willamette Pacific Railroad
Freight Service: Yes    Passenger Service: No
If no local service, list closest Rail Service: Amtrak-Salem

Marine Yes
Description: Willamette River
Docks, Port Facilities: Dock and boat ramp at Riverview Park
Plans for Upgrade/Expansion:

Transportation issues which might confront development, such as non-attainment air shed, etc.:

Public Transportation Comment:

Bus Service Available in the Community: Yes Senior Transit System (Polk County)
Scheduled Bus Service Available: Yes    Buses Per Day:
Local Charter Services: No 
Distance to Nearest Bus Service:

Trucking Service
Scheduled Freight Carrier Services: No  
Overnight Express Parcel Service Available: Yes 
Overnight Express Mail Service Available: Yes
Transportation Comments:

For more information relating to transportation topics please visit the Department of Transportation web site. Airports (maps and general information); Bicycle and Pedestrian Route information; Public Transportation, bus and rail

Source: City Administration, local chamber of commerce (proprietary information)