Sisters Community Profile

PO Box 39, 150 N Fir, Sisters, OR 97759
Phone 541-549-6022 • Fax 541-549-0561
Web Page • E-Mail:

City Location

County(ies): Deschutes    Incorporated in 1946
Location: Located in Central Oregon between the high desert and the east side of the Cascade Mountains.
Nearest Major Highway and Distance: US Hwy 20/ Hwy 126, local
Nearest Major City and Distance:
Bend | 20 miles, Estimated Drive Time: 30 minutes
Distance to Portland: 136 miles

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

Recreational Amenities

Mt. Bachelor, Smith Rock State Park, Deschutes National Forest, Newberry National Volcanic Monument, Suttle Lake, Hoodoo Ski Area, Metolius River, Black Butte Ranch. Sisters Rodeo, Sisters Art Stroll, Hoodoo Winter Carnival, Folk Festival, Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show, High Mt. Dixieland Jazz Festival, Starry Night Concert Series, Harvest Fair. Camping, boating, hiking, water skiing, fishing, snow skiing, snow mobiling, golf, horseback riding, hunting, rock climbing.

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: 3,180'      Measurement Location: Bend

Monthly Ave. Low: 20°F           Monthly Ave. High: 84°F
Hottest Month: July                  Coldest Month: December
Driest Month: July                    Wettest Month: January
Average annual precipitation: 14.180"

Humidity (Hour 10, local time):
Average July afternoon humidity: 34%
Average January afternoon humidity: 77%

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 Sisters708 959 1,660 1,745
Deschutes County 74,958 115,367 143,490 152,615
Sources: 1990, 2000 US Census; 2205, 2006 Center for Population Research and Census, Portland State University. 0 indicates data is unavailable.

Deschutes County 3,055 sq miles   50 persons/sq mile Sources: figures based on 2006 PSU population estimates;
Oregon Bluebook county square mileage

Community Age Groups

Under 5 years0 0 46 50

5-19 years0 0 126 226

20-44 years0 0 236 310

45-64 years0 0 109 240

65+ years0 0 143 133

Median Age0 0 38 38.8

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 Sisters192 305 370 434 $131,500
Deschutes County 10,022 25,646 35,928 54,583 $148,800

City of Sisters 2000 Housing Breakout:Also visit Housing and
Community Services Web Site:
Vacancy Rate:12.21%
Median Owner Cost
Owner Occupied:1,473

Renter Occupied:1,046
Median Gross Rent:$619

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

Economic Development and Employment

Principal Industries of the County(ies):
Deschutes County—Lumber, agriculture, tourism

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

Agricultural Products of the Area (Top 3 largest gross farm sales):
Deschutes County—Cattle and calves, hays and forage, specialty products

Source: Oregon State University, Extension Economic Information Office

Total Number of Manufacturing Companies in the County:
Deschutes County 256

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

Total Number of Manufacturing Companies in the City: 16
Source: City Administration

Economic Indicators

Deschutes CountyOregon


Labor Force63,53066,0721,802,9381,793,7731,840,133
Total Employment1,715,4531,679,9141,701,390
Unemployment Rate6.4%7.7%4.9%6.3%7.5%
Non-Farm Payroll Employment53,23053,9601,606,8001,596,1001,572,500
Total Covered Employment52,51553,0571,607,9441,596,9431,573,083
Total Covered Payroll
($ thousands county/
$ millions state)
Ave. Annual Payroll Per Employee$27,345$28,253$32,776$33,202$33,684
Number of Business Units4,8325,087108,432111,353113,097
Total Personal Income ($ millions)$336,903$354,043$94,999$98,500$101,358
Annual Per Capita Personal Income$$28,193$27,649$28,40028,792
Assessed Value of Property ($ millions)$0$14,283$198,911$210,435$219,878
Residential Construction
  Building Permits
  Value ($ thousands)





Travel Expenditures ($ millions)$0$366,100$6,133$6,128$6,208
Travel-Related Employment05,48089,80091,10090,200

 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 January, 2002

Employer—Product/ServiceNumber of
Black Butte Ranch—Resort 375

Sisters School District—Education 154

Multnomah Publishers—Publishing 120

Weitech—Electronic Pest Products 90

Rays Food Place—Grocery 80

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 Sisters— 541-549-6022

Sisters Area Chamber of Commerce— 541-549-0251

Sisters Community Action Team— 541-549-2287

Deschutes County— 541-388-6570

Central Oregon Intergovernmental Council— 541-548-8163

Economic Development for Central Oregon— 541-388-3236

Economic & Community Development Department Regional Development Officer— 541-388-6266

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


Public and Private Schools K–12

Public School District:
Sisters School District 6
220 S Pine St, Suite 202
PO Box 5099
Sisters, OR 97759-5099
Phone: 541-549-8521
Fax: 541-549-8951
Web site:

Staff and Enrollments:
District Certified Staff: reported October 2000—73
Total District Enrollment: reported October 2001—1,138

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: 2   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 Deschutes County assessor’s office at 541–388–6508.

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.

Deschutes County
Average Compressed Tax Rate 1997-98$13.16
Average Compressed Tax Rate 1998-99$13.54
Average 1999 Housing Value$111,714
Ave Res Property Tax Paid on Ave House 1997-98$0
Ave Res Property Tax Paid on Ave House 1998-99$1,512.61
Average School rate 1998-99 . . . . . . . . $6.02

Average Non-School Rate 1998-99. . . . $8.48

Average City Rate 1998-99 . . . . . . . . . $2.54

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: Sisters-Camp Sherman RFPD, 4 stations
Number of paid and volunteer firefighters: 40
Rating by Insurance Services Organization (ISO): 6-8*
Comments: 2000 data; *ISO rating and number of firefighters unreported in directory-last reported numbers
Source: Oregon State Fire Marshal, Oregon Fire Service Resource Directory 2000

Police Department: Deschutes County Sheriff Department
Number of paid and reserve officers: 7

Nearest Hospital and distance: St. Charles Hospital in Bend, 20 miles
Regional Hospital and distance: St. Charles Hospital, in Bend, 20 miles
Emergency services to community: Ambulance Service, Air Life
General Clinic(s): 1

Source: City Administration

Communications Resources

Local Newspapers: The Nugget

Regional Newspapers: The Bend Bulletin

Radio Stations: None, 18 regional stations

TV Stations: City receives 2 Bend area stations

Available Cable Television: Bend Cable

Telephone Service Provider(s): Qwest, ATG, Unicom

Local Internet Service Provider(s): Yes
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 Plan1994
2004 Under Revision 2002
Zoning Ordinance

Building Permit System

City issues building permits
Subdivision Ordinance
Development code
Strategic Plan
Parks Master Plan Transportation System Plan

Territory Covered by Zoning
Municipality Yes     County Data unavailable at this time.
Source: City Administration

Industrial Lands
Does the Community seek industrial development? Yes
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:
Antelope Meadows Special Road District, ORS; Arnold Irrigation District; Beaver Special Road District; Bend Metro Park and Recreation District; Black Butte Ranch Department of Police Services; Black Butte Ranch R.F.P.D.; Cascade View Estates Special Road District; Central Oregon District Hospital; Central Oregon Intergovernmental Council; Central Oregon Irrigation District; Central Oregon Parks and Recreation District; Chaparral Water Control District; Cloverdale R.F.P.D.; Crook County Improvement District #1; Crooked River Ranch Special Road District; DRRH Special Road District #6; Deschutes County 911 Communications Service District; Deschutes County E.S.D.; Deschutes County Extension and 4-H Service District; Deschutes County R.F.P.D. #1 and #2; Deschutes County Special District #1 and #8; Deschutes S.W.C.D.; Deschutes Valley Water District; Fall River Estates Special Road District; Forest View Special Road District; Four Rivers Vector Control District; Hidden Valley Improvement District; Howell Hilltop Acres Special Road District; La Pine Park and Recreation District; La Pine R.F.P.D.; La Pine Special Sewer District; Laidlaw Water District; Lazy River Special Road District; Oregon Water Wonderland Unit #3 Sanitary District; Oregon Water Wonderland Unit #1 Road; RimRock West Sanitary District; River Bend Estates Special Road District; River Pines Estates Special Road District; Sisters-Camp Sherman R.F.P.D.; Squaw Creek Irrigation District; Starwood Sanitary District; Sunforest Estates Special Road District; Swally Irrigation District; Terrebonne Domestic Water District; Tumalo Irrigation District; Vandervert Acres Special Road District; Water Wonderland Improvement 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 Sisters
District: N/A
Source: Ground Water Surface Water; Municipal Wells, Pole Creek
Supply: Treated; Capacity (MGD)–0.2 winter, 0.8 summer; Pressure (PSI)–65

Current Water Utilization on Meter Size (MGD): 0.5 MGD average
Water Costs per thousand gallons: Base rate per/thousand = $16.50/10,000 3/4 inch meter
Water Costs for Total Consumption of Residential: Based on 7,000 gallons = $16.50 minimum

Age of Water System: 1994

Water System Comment(s): System development Charges: $2,894/equiv. dwelling unit. Hook up fee $350; Reconnection fee $50

Compliance Issues: None

Water debt repayment included as part of tax assessment? No

Date of Current Master Plan: 2000

Plans for Upgrading or Expanding: None
Source: City Administration

Wastewater Treatment System

Operator: City of Sisters          Age of Wastewater Collection System: 2001

System Design Capacity (MGD): MGD 0.2     System Utilization (MGD): MGD
Collection System Fees: $39.00 per month    Hook-up or Connection Fee:
Access Fee or System Development Fee: SDC = 2,995/edu Connection fee = 1,000/edu

Comment(s) on Wastewater System: Brand new system on line, less than one year Collection system still in construction stages

Compliance Issues: None

Date of Last Facility Plan: 2002

Plans for Upgrade/Expansion: Under construction

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? Yes
AccessMonthly FeeOther Fee
T1 Yes varies by distance
DSL Yes 40 - 60
Cable Yes 35 - 50

For Oregon Telecommunications information and resources, visit

Natural Gas—Provider: Cascade Natural Gas
Lines and Feed:

Rate Structure: Residential: .91034 per therm, minimum $3.00 Commercial: .81773 per therm, minimum $3.00 Industrial: .77969 per therm, mimimum $12.00

Plans for Upgrade/Expansion:

Electrical—Provider: Central Electric Cooperative
Lines and Feed:

Rate Structure Residential: Winter .0652 cents per kilowatt hr.
Summer .0676 cents per kilowatt hr.
Commercial/Industrial: Summer and Winter .0525 cents per kilowatt hr. for first 15,000, over .0455 cents per kilowatt hr.

Plans for Upgrade/Expansion:

Solid Waste Management: City of Sisters

Permit Status:

Utility Expansion Plans:

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 US Hwy 20, Hwy 126 , local access   Transportation Access Fee: $0

Community Air Service Yes Sisters Eagle Air Airport If no local service, list closest Air Facility
Air Passenger Service: No
Airport Freight Service: No
Passenger Service: Roberts Field, Redmond Municipal Airport, 20 miles in Redmond
Air Service Comments: VOR radial/distance Runway 2/20 3550 x 30 ft/1,082 x 9m, Asphalt, fair condition

Rail Service: No 
Freight Service: No    Passenger Service: No
If no local service, list closest Rail Service: Bend, 20 miles

Marine No

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

Public Transportation Comment:

Bus Service Available in the Community: No 
Scheduled Bus Service Available: No    Buses Per Day:
Local Charter Services: Yes Various charter companies serve the Central Oregon area.
Distance to Nearest Bus Service: Bend, 20 miles

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)