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Board will hear and respond to disputes about real market and assessed values in 2019

CENTRAL OREGONIAN - People can pick up applications for the Board of Property Tax Appeals at the Crook County Clerk's Office

When local property owners disagree with how their land was assessed for taxes, they have the option to appeal the decision.

The group tasked with hearing and responding to those appeals in Crook County is the Property Tax Board of Appeals. And Crook County Clerk Cheryl Seely, who organizes the group, is currently seeking volunteers for the board.

Seely, who once served on the board when she was a local realtor, said that she needs three people to serve, and at this point, only one person from the previous board is expecting to seek another one-year term.

Once the group is organized, the board members are officially appointed by the Crook County Court.

"The board is responsible for hearing taxpayer appeals for reduction of real estate market or assessed value of their real or personal property," Seely explained. She went on to note that board members must be a resident of Crook County and not be an employee of or member of any local governing body or any taxing district within the county.

Candidates sought should have a working knowledge of the local residential and commercial real estate markets and be willing to participate in public hearings and quickly review documents while taking public testimony to reach reasonable decisions. Board candidates should also be familiar with Oregon property tax and have mediation skills as well as a background in real estate appraisal, finance or other related fields.

Seely said that candidates do not need to be professional experts in any particular fields, although "it's nice if they have some sort of knowledge of local real estate or are a builder or contractor or have some appraisal background."

Board terms begin in early October and conclude June 30 of the following year, Seely said. The board typically conducts hearings for a period of one to three days — depending on the number of appeals — between Feb. 1 and April 15. They will receive a per diem rate of $50 per day of conducting hearings.

"In the last several years, we have only met one day and conducted hearings," she said, but added that several years prior, the number of appeals forced then Clerk Dee Berman to organize two boards, both of which held hearings for three days.

"We are expecting the (number of) appeals to be on the low side," Seely continued, "so I think at the most it would be two days of hearings."

Board members will participate in a board training in mid-January, which will be conducted by the Oregon Department of Revenue at a Central Oregon location.

People interested in volunteering for a board position can request an application packet from the County Clerk's office, fill it out and return it to that location with a resume. Paperwork is due no later than Sept. 14 at 5 p.m. The appointment process will be completed by Oct. 15.

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