Property tax statements are in the mail
Most Washington County property owners will see modest increases of up to 5 percent, but some will see greater increases, in the 2018-19 tax bills that have been sent out.
Of a total of 195,000 statements from the Department of Assessment and Taxation, officials say 160,000 will have increases of up to 5 percent, and 20,000 will have greater increases. Most of the rest (11,000) will see decreases.
Statements were mailed through Oct. 25. First installment payments are due Nov. 15.
Real-market property values, though not the basis for tax bills because of statewide tax limits, grew 3.8 percent from 2017 to 2018 — less than the 10 percent growth from 2016 to 2017.
Total taxes collected will amount to $1.136 billion, $55 million more (5 percent) than last year.
Statewide limits generally restrict growth in property tax bills to 3 percent annually. But taxes can go up more because of voter approval of levies and bonds outside the limits, and new construction and improvements that add value to property.
Voters approved bonds for the Banks Fire District, the Hillsboro School District and Portland Community College, as well as the City of Tualatin, which also includes parts of Clackamas County. Rate increases are 47 cents for Banks Fire; $2.24 for Hillsboro schools; 40 cents for Portland Community College; and 50 cents per $1,000 of taxable value for Tualatin.
Voters also renewed local-option levies for the cities of Forest Grove and Hillsboro, the Enhanced Sheriff's Patrol District — which covers urban unincorporated communities — and Metro, as well as the Beaverton School District. Some of those renewals occurred earlier — voters approved the Metro levy in November 2016 and the sheriff's levy in May 2017 — but 2018-19 is the first year those renewals take effect.
The renewals do not increase rates.
Real-market values of property countywide rose 3.8 percent — $112.2 billion to $116.5 billion — from January 2017 to January 2018. They have been going up since 2013, but this year's increase is less than in previous years.
Assessed (taxable) value, the basis for most property tax payments, rose 4.3 percent from $62.3 billion to $65 billion.
The average residential property grew 7.2 percent in real-market value to $434,305 — and 3.5 percent in assessed value to $270,208.
The shares of property tax dollars to local governments remain consistent.
Education from primary and secondary schools to Portland Community College claims 48.24 percent; countywide services, 16.82 percent; city and neighborhood services, including fire districts and the sheriff's enhanced patrol district, 32.03 percent, and regional services such as TriMet, Port of Portland and Metro, 2.91 percent.
Oregon voters limited overall property tax rates in 1990 — $5 per $1,000 of taxable value for education, $10 for all other agencies combined, excluding bond issues. In 1996 and 1997, they rolled back and then limited growth in taxable values.
Many property owners pay taxes as part of their mortgages. The first deadline for those who pay property taxes separately is Nov. 15; other due dates are Feb. 15 and May 15.
Washington County numbers for assistance are 503-846-8826 (property values) or 503-846-8801 (tax collections).
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