BEND, OR -- Property taxes are complicated, thanks to a number of factors, including Oregon’s constitution and the rise and fall of the local housing market. But one thing remains constant – you still have to pay up.
"As far as payment of your taxes, that is next Tuesday, November 15," Deschutes County Assessor Scot Langton tells KBND News. "To avoid any interest penalties on that, people need to pay at least a third of their bill then. If they pay in full, they’ll get a 3% discount."
Langton says the tax structure is mandated by the state. But, he says it’s local services that benefit. "The biggest piece of anybody’s property tax bill is education and K-12 funding. If you look at the community college, education, the whole category, it’s about 45% of the whole property tax bill. Then, you have things like the county, the Sheriff, if you’re in a city or rural fire district, wherever that happens to be, it’s those service providers for your property."
He says some of the biggest confusion over statements comes from how “real market value” is calculated. "What a realtor would be looking at would be what it would sell at today. Our base appraisal date, per statute, is January first of any given year," says Langton. "So, the property tax bill you just received is January 1, 2016; that’s 11 months old. And, as I think most of us realize, there’s quite a bit of market activity that we’ve seen over the last several years, both up and down, in values; and by design, our figure is dated." He encourages anyone with questions or concerns about their property value or tax statement to call the Assessor’s office.