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Oregon City, North Clackamas voters pass measures to support local schoolchildren

Did you just see an increase on your property tax bill? You're not alone.

Tax statements mailed last month to 177,095 property owners in Clackamas County saw an average increase of 4.5% over last year, but Gladstone's increase was generally lower at about 3.75%. Voters in the North Clackamas School District recently approved a local-option levy to preserve teaching positions and class sizes, resulting in an average tax increase of about 13%. Oregon City-area voters recently approved a bond for school construction projects across the district, and OC voters are now being charged about a 5% increase over last year.

Clackamas County Assessor Tami Little reported that the 2019-20 total property tax to be collected for all districts in the county is $921 million, an increase of 8.05% over last year's total. The $68.6 million increase in property taxes is generated from new construction, voter-approved money measures, and the typical 3% increase in assessed value due to Measure 50's constitutional growth limitation of assessed value.

Tami Little"Real market value in Clackamas County grew 7.2% this year, continuing a growth trend that started in 2013," Little said. "The assessed value of an average home is equal to about 64% of its real market value."

Oregon's property tax system continues to be driven by a constitutional property tax limitation passed by voters in 1997. That constitutional change replaced most tax levies with permanent tax rates and lowered the assessed value of every property to 90% of its 1995-96 assessed value.

"It limited maximum assessed value growth to 3% a year as long as the property was unchanged and real market value exceeded the maximum assessed value established under the system," Little said. "The system also allows voters to approve additional money measures that may increase their taxes in excess of 3%."

Full payment of taxes is due by Nov. 15 to receive a 3% discount. Taxpayers can file value appeals with the Board of Property Tax Appeals (call 503-655-8662) through Dec. 31.

Little and her staff have been conducting town-hall meetings to share information about property values, tax changes, senior/disabled citizen property tax deferrals, veterans' exemptions, farm/forestland deferrals and appeals.

Little will hold one such meeting to answer tax questions from 7-8:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 6, in the Development Services Building's Room 115, 150 Beavercreek Road, Oregon City.


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