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Property tax bills are going up an average of 7.3 percent in Washington County this year.

The increase is due to several factors — including a 7 percent increase in real market value in the county, which pushed the assessed value of some properties above the state-allowed 3 percent increase.

“Real market value went up for the first time in five years, which is a sign the real estate market is recovering. It went down for the previous five years,” said Rich Hobernicht, director of the county’s Office of Assessment and Taxation for the county.

Voter-approved tax measures are also pushing up the bills. The biggest is a $482 million construction bond approved in the Beaverton School District, which includes the city of Beaverton and much of the unincorporated area in the county. Another new measure is the 5-year Metro levy to maintain the natural areas owned by the elected regional government. And the Enhanced Washington County Sheriff’s Patrol District was renewed at a higher rate.

The increases vary among the approximately 168,000 property tax accounts in the county, however. About 90,000 accounts will see increases of more than 5 percent; 78,000 will see increases of less than 5 percent; and 15,700 will have decreases.

The largest increases are in the Beaverton School District and unincorporated Washington County. Large increases also occurred in the Grant neighborhood of Hillsboro, the Garden Home neighborhood of Metzger, the Dakota neighborhood of Tigard and most neighborhoods in Beaverton.

“If you live in the Beaverton School District or the unincorporated areas of the county, your taxes are likely to go up, but it’s really a property by property thing,” said Hobernicht.

Property owners have several payment options. Taxes may be paid in three installments due Nov. 15, Feb. 15 and May 15. Full payments by Nov. 15 qualify for a 3 percent discount. A two-thirds payment by Nov. 15 qualifies for a 2 percent discount. Payments must be postmarked by Nov. 15 to receive a discount.

The county will also accept credit card payments online; by phone at 1-888-510-9274; or at the Assessment and Taxation office in the Public Services Building, 155 N. First Ave., Suite 130, Hillsboro.

Tax statements to be mailed out next week total $877 million, an increase of $59.5 million from last year.

At the same time, taxing districts are unable to collect $19.3 million in voter-approved property taxes because of restrictions in the state’s complex property tax relief system known as “compression.” That’s up from $9.3 million last year, with most of the increase in the Beaverton School District.

The taxes are collected by 49 local taxing districts, including cities, special districts, schools, regional governments and the county itself.

This year, the average property tax dollar in Washington County breaks down as follows: 17.3 cents for county services, including public safety, road improvements, libraries, elections and public health; 31.4 cents for neighborhood services provided by cities and special districts, including police, fire protection, parks, water, urban road maintenance, enhanced sheriff’s patrol and urban renewal projects; 48.4 cents for education, including K-12, Portland Community College and Education Service Districts; and 2.9 cents for regional services provided by Metro, Tri-Met and the Port of Portland.

Property owners who do not receive a tax statement by Nov. 1 should call the Tax Collections Office at 503-846-8801.

Property owners concerned that their assessed value or real market value is too high can call 503-846-8826 to discuss their property’s appraisal.

Appeals of property values may be filed from Oct. 26 until Dec. 31.

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