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Tom Merrick finds his annual property tax increase 'grossly underestimated' by nearly 100%

My wife and I live in Clackamas and recently noticed our property tax increased 13.5 percent over 2018. In an effort to discover why, I found the bulk came from a new operating bond for the North Clackamas School District ($760).

I visited their website and found a tax calculator that would estimate the bond impact on our property. What I found was it grossly under estimated the annual tax impact to about $400.I called the school and after several tries spoke with the district's CFO Gayellyn Jacobson. I asked her to help me understand the reason their calculator was so far off the actual bond amount on my 2019 tax statement. She indicated she was new to the district but would find out and get back to me. It has been several weeks since we spoke and I've reached out to her office several times, leaving messages asking for a return call or even an email but to no avail.The tax calculator is no longer easily available on the website (I printed a copy of the one I ran). As it turns out, Gayellyn used to be CFO at the Beaverton School District and resigned after some issues with an inaccurate budget.As a strong supporter of schools, a former president of the Beaverton Chamber of Commerce, a parent of five children and grandparent to nine, I am concerned that the district misrepresented the actual cost of their operating bond in 2018 while encouraging property owners to use this tax calculator.

Tom Merrick

Clackamas

Editor's note

A spokesperson for the school district said questions about discrepencies between tax bills and the calculator should be directed to the county tax assessor.

"Even when NCSD had the calculator on its website before the vote, the actual tool was provided by the county, so we really aren't the source for questions/issues regarding tax bills," NCSD spokesman Jonathan Hutchison said.

Jacobson declined to comment about her reasons for leaving the Beaverton School District.

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