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Property taxes going up countywide

Local districts are prepared to collect more than $649 million from local taxpayers, an increase of more than 3 percent from last year.

On property-tax statements mailed out this month, Clackamas County saw its first increase in the percentage of growth in assessed value since 2007.

According to the county tax assessor, Oregon’s rebounding economy and improving real-estate market contributed to the highest percentage growth in property tax in the last three years. While the gap between real market values and maximum assessed values has closed, most property taxes are still calculated on an assessed value that is less than real market value.

Property taxes in Clackamas County support 133 local governmental districts, including services of the county itself, 18 school districts, 17 cities, 14 fire districts, water districts, public safety districts, service districts, the Port of Portland and Metro.

Clackamas County Assessor Bob Vroman and his staff are conducting 13 town-hall meetings through Nov. 13 to update citizens on requirements for veteran’s exemptions, senior citizen tax deferral and how Oregon’s property tax system continues to be driven by Measure 50, a constitutional property tax limitation passed by voters in 1997.

The first forum was at Oregon City’s Pioneer Community Center on Tuesday.

“The constitutional amendment reduced property taxes and fundamentally changed Oregon’s property-tax system in several ways,” Vroman said. “It replaced most tax levies with permanent tax rates; it lowered the assessed value of every property to 90 percent of its 1995-96 assessed value; and it limited assessed-value growth to 3 percent a year as long as real-market value exceeded the maximum assessed value established under the system.”




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