Local property owners can expect to see their annual property tax statement in their mailbox this week.
Curry County Assessor and Tax Collector Jim Kolen said 20,000 of the statements are being mailed over the next few days.
“Most property owners will see a three percent overall increase in their Maximum Assessed Value (MAV),”Kolen said. “However, Oregon law dictates that property owners will pay property tax on their MAV or their RMV whichever is less."
The RMV noted on the tax statement is the assessor’s estimate of what property would have sold for on Jan. 1, 2019 and is based upon sales that occurred primarily in 2018.
In 1997 Oregon voters approved Ballot Measure 50 (M-50) which limited MAV to no more than 103% of the prior year’s Assessed Value (AV). M-50 also froze the permanent tax rates of taxing districts, but allowed for variation to the tax rates districts impose to pay for limited duration voter approved bond measures.
Crunching the numbers
According to Kolen, property values are increasing throughout most of the county. This year the Median RMV of single family homes countywide is $277,300 as compared to last year’s median value of $258,450. The 2019-20 median home values by city are $177,460 Port Orford, $232,160 Gold Beach and $302,255 in Brookings. The total RMV of the entire county reached approximately 4.15 billion dollars this year as compared to $3.87 billion in 2018-19.
Market value changes for individual properties depend on the location, type of property and the demand for those properties in 2018.
Overall, AVs increased by 4% in the City of Brookings, 3% in Gold Beach and 4% in Port Orford. MAV increases for individual properties depend on whether the property owner paid on their MAV or RMV in 2018-19 and whether any changes were made to the property such as new construction, lot splits or zone changes.
Brookings gets a decrease
Kolen said the Brookings-Harbor School District 17C has significantly reduced the levy for their bond payment this year.
The reduction reduces the tax rate for the 17C Bond payment by approximately seventy cents per thousand dollars of assessed value.
Kolen said that means many property owners in the 17C District could see an overall reduction in property tax from 2018-19.
"This is a pretty significant rate reduction," he said. "The average is about $11. This year the combined tax rate for people in Brookings is about $9.50 per thousand. Last year it was $10.31 per $1,000 of assessed valuation.
Kolen said the combined tax rate is from all taxing districts, including the schools, the city, and the library.
District Officials do expect the levy to return to the higher level next year for 2020-21.
Where the money goes
Taxing districts in Curry County have levied just over $27.7 million dollars in property taxes for 2019-20. The county assesses, collects and distributes the property tax for the districts. Of the total levied approximately 55% goes to Schools, 17% to Cities, 6.85% County, 5.6% Libraries, 5% Health District and the rest is for Rural Fire Protection, Ports, Cemeteries etc.
Kolen said factors effecting the property tax rates include, adding on to your home, placing a new building or manufactured structure on a clear lot, developing a larger piece of property with a subdivision or a commercial structure and a potential zone change.
Kolen said first trimester property tax payments are due by Friday, Nov. 15. Tax payments may be made by mail or in person at the Assessor/Tax collector’s office in the Curry Office Annex Building in Gold Beach. Other payment options include payments by telephone or on-line payments. The tax office will be open for payments 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday – Friday from Oct. 25 through Nov. 15.
What to look for
Kolen’s office has contracted with Jackson County to process mailed payments at a cost savings to Curry. The return envelope mailed with the tax statement has a Medford, Oregon return address. New for this year, he said, is that the return envelope will be white with a green box in the return address area. In prior years the return envelope have been a solid green. The color change allows for additional savings.
Property owners making payments by credit card will call the telephone tax payment service at 844-399-5263 and must include their property’s account number which is shown on the upper right hand corner of the tax statement. The account number begins with a letter (R, M, P, U) followed by five digits.
On-line tax payments are made by accessing the Curry County website at: www.co.curry.or.us and follow the Assessment/Taxation link to “Make A Tax Payment”. There is a $2 bank fee for making an e-check payment, a $3.95 bank fee for a Visa debit payment and a 2.5% bank fee for making a credit card payment. A drop slot is also available for after-hours payments and is located just outside the tax collector’s door in the Courthouse Annex building, 29821 Ellensburg Ave. in Gold Beach.
Tax payments must be received by the tax collector or postmarked by Friday Nov. 15 for anyone wishing to receive the 3% discount.
"There are no exceptions," Kolen said. "Payments received after Nov.15 will not receive a discount and will begin accruing interest due to late payment."
The 3% discount is available with any of the payment options subject to applicable fees.
If making payments by trimester the second trimester payment is due Feb. 15 and the third trimester deadline is May 15. Trimester payments may be made without accruing interest, but there are no discounts.
Kolen encourages property owners to review their tax statements carefully and if they have questions, or have not received their tax statement by Nov 1, to call his office at 541-247-3305, or 866-298-0307. Valuation questions should be directed to 541-247-3294 or 800-242-7601.