Property tax bills are on the way

Graphic by Kathy Huggins

POLK COUNTY — Property tax bills are in the mail, or should be soon, and many owners will see a reduction in their taxes for 2017-18, said Polk County Assessor Doug Schmidt.

“According to numbers submitted by the Assessor’s Office, a significant number of property owners could see a decrease in their property taxes this year,” Schmidt said in a news release about 2017-18 property taxes. “Even though a property’s assessed value may have increased by 3 percent or more, the taxes on the property may not have increased the same amount.”

The reason behind that is changes to the amount of property taxes needed to repay bonds in certain taxing districts, Schmidt said.

Urban Renewal Districts

Taxes collected from urban renewal districts in Polk County:

Salem: $2,046,470

Dallas: $180,690

Independence: $531,240

Monmouth: $304,950

Incremental tax increases — the amount taxes have increased since a district formed — are collected and distributed to the urban renewal agencies.

The money can only be used for urban renewal projects within those districts.

Source: Polk County Assessor’s Office

Polk County paid off its road bond recently, reducing the countywide tax rate by 50 cents per $1,000 of assessed value. Central School District reduced its bond requirements by 44 cents per $1,000, reducing taxes in its district. Those reductions could mean a decrease in property taxes from 2016-17, Schmidt said.

Did you know?

Measure 5, a constitutional amendment approved by Ore gon voters in 1990, restricts the amount of taxes property owners are required to pay.

The amendment limits property taxes to $10 per $1,000 of real market value for general government services and $5 per $1,000 of real market value for education services.

Due to those restrictions, taxing districts were unable to collect $285,175 in property tax revenues this year, primarily for education services.

This amount is down from last year’s revenue loss of $417,403.

Source: Polk County Assessor’s Office

Not everyone will see property tax bills fall. The exceptions are those who live in West Salem and in the Southwest Polk Rural Fire Protection District, where taxes required to pay for bonds increased.

“Both the city of Salem and the Salem-Keizer School District increased their bond repayment requirements, so West Salem will see an increase in their taxes this year,” Schmidt wrote. “However, because the Polk County bond was paid off, West Salem property owners may not see the full 3 percent increase in their taxes.”

The same is true of Southwest Polk, which passed a bond to pay for equipment and fire stations.

The Assessor’s Office reports the total real market value of properties in Polk County increased by 9 percent from last year to $9.18 billion.

The overall assessed value of properties in Polk County grew by approximately 5 percent over last year, now amounting to $5.9 billion.

A property’s real market value in the 2017-18 tax year is what the Assessor’s Office deems it would sell for on Jan. 1, 2017.

Assessed value is the figure the Assessor’s office uses of calculate property taxes.

The total amount of taxes, special assessments, fees and charges to be collected for all districts in Polk County is approximately $89.8 million for the 2017 tax year. That is an increase of 2.6 percent over the $87.5 million in 2016.

Linda Fox, Polk County tax collector, plans to mail statements Wednesday (today), and taxes are due on Nov. 15.

If you have questions about where to pay your taxes or how to pay your taxes, please call the Tax Office at 503-623-9264.

Schmidt said property owners need to review their tax statement for accuracy of information, such as the correct listing of ownership, and mailing and location address.

If you have any questions or changes are needed, contact the Assessor’s Office at 503-623-8391.

If you disagree with the real market value on your property, contact the Assessor’s Office for a free review, 503-623-8391.

If you are not satisfied with the assessment after the review, you can file an appeal to the local Board of Property Tax Appeals.

Instructions on filing appeals are found on the back of property tax statements.

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