The 2007-2008 Marion County property tax statements will be mailed to Marion County property owners on or about October 19th. If property tax bills are paid in full or postmarked by the November 15th due date, there is a 3% discount. Property tax payments may now be made by Visa, MasterCard or electronic check using a third-party vendor, Official Payments, at http://www.officialpayments.com/ or by calling (877) 542-6092. Visa and MasterCard payments are not accepted at the Tax Collector’s office. Official Payments charges the taxpayer a convenience fee for using this service. To receive a discount, payments must be postmarked on or before Thursday, November 15, 2007. Taxes may also be paid in three installments due November 15, 2007, February 15, 2008 and May 15, 2008. Taxpayers are encouraged to pay early to receive the discount, avoid holiday mailing delays and postmark problems and prevent interest on delinquent payments. Please note that county offices will be closed Monday, November 12th in observance of Veteran’s Day.
Generally the assessed value of a property can only increase 3% from one year to the next. The required 3% increase is the result of Measure 50, a Constitutional Amendment approved by Oregon voters in 1997. The measure required a roll back of the 1997-98 assessed value to the 1995-96 level minus 10%. Each subsequent year, Measure 50 requires the maximum assessed value to increase by 3% annually unless it exceeds the real market value of the property. Thus, the assessed value of most properties increases by 3% over the prior year.
If there is new construction, a new parcel is created, a new subdivision or the removal of a special assessment, the assessed value may increase more than 3%. The real market value of new construction exceeding $10,000 in one year or an accumulated $25,000 over five consecutive years will be added to the taxable amount on the roll. If assessed value is increased because of these circumstances, it is increased at a ratio that reflects the comparison of assessed value to real market value for unchanged property in the same property class across the county. In no instance will the assessed value be more than the real market value of the property. If a property’s real market value was less than the maximum assessed value last year, the assessed value could increase more than the 3% limitation. Properties are not revalued due to sales or transfers to a new owner.
Measure 50 also created permanent property tax rates for each taxing district. In addition to the permanent rates, the individual districts can levy, with voter approval, local option and bond levies. The local option levies can be up to five years unless they are used for capital construction. Bond levies are generally for about twenty years. Property owners are only billed for taxes due to the districts where the property is located. For example, property located outside the city limits does not pay city taxes, or property in one school district does not pay to other school districts the property is not located within.
Measure 5, another Constitutional Amendment approved by the voters in 1990, is still in effect. This amendment created a permanent limitation on property tax rates of $10 per $1,000 of real market value for general government services and $5 per $1,000 of real market value for education services, excluding bonds.
The total assessed value in Marion County has increased from $16,463,705,003 in 2006 to $17,437,346,702 as of January 1st, 2007, which represents a total increase of 5.91%. Keep in mind for most instances, existing property is limited to the 3% increase so the additional 2.91% is mainly added value due to new construction.
The major property tax changes in Marion County consist of the following; Chemeketa Community College bond decreased by over $3.3 million which affects all properties in the county, Aumsville residents will see an average of a 7% reduction due to the city’s local option levy expiring, Aurora will see an average of a 4% reduction due to a decrease in bond amount for the city, St. Paul will see an average of a 6% increase due to a new school district bond, Silverton will see an average of a 14% increase due to a new Silver Falls School District bond and Scotts Mills will see an average of an 18% increase due to the same new Silver Falls School District bond.
The real market value of all property in Marion County increased again as of January 1, 2007. The total real market value as of January 1, 2006 was $29,663,727,442 and now as of January 1, 2007 has increased to $35,276,496,141. That’s an increase of 18.9% for all 126,342 accounts.
Total tax levies, assessments and fees imposed countywide this year total $284,768,754.88. This is up 5.19% from $270,705,753.16 last year.
The per acre charge for state fire patrol imposed by the State Forester increased to $1.10 from $.88 used last year.
Our tax dollars in Marion County are distributed to 74 separate taxing districts. 38.40% goes to school districts, 23.05% to cities, 18.10% to Marion County General Fund, 6.42% to Rural Fire Protection, 4.12% to Chemeketa C.C., 4.11% to Urban Renewal, 2.72% to the Transit District, 1.75% to E.S.D. and 1.33% to small lighting, sewer, soil & water, etc. districts.
Your property tax bill also serves as a “notice of change of assessed value” from the Assessor. Property owners who disagree with the values shown on the bill have several rights of appeal. First, they may go to the Assessor’s Office and ask that the value be reviewed. The Assessor asks that requests for review be submitted as soon as possible after receiving the tax statement, but no later than December 7th as the review and all associated paper work must be completed and the taxpayer notified prior to December 31st. If the Assessor agrees the value should be reduced, a correction to values may be made at that point. If the Assessor does not agree, or the owner is not satisfied with the reduction, the owner may appeal to the Board of Property Tax Appeals (BOPTA). BOPTA is a local citizen board which will hold an informal hearing, consider the information presented and make a decision. Appeals to BOPTA must be filed on or before December 31st. Decisions from that board may be appealed to the Magistrate Division of the Oregon Tax Court.
Property owners who desire more information are encouraged to contact the County Assessor’s office at (503) 588-5144 or the Tax Collector’s Office at (503) 588-5215. Both offices are located on the second floor at 555 Court Street NE in Salem just north of the County Courthouse. Office hours are 8:00 – 5:00, Monday through Friday. Again, both offices will be closed November 12th in observance of Veteran’s Day.