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Average LO property tax bill to increase by 2.5 percent

County expects hefty revenue boost as it mails tax notices this week

Photo Credit: REVIEW PHOTO: JONATHAN HOUSE - Clackamas County Tax Assessor Bob Vroman expects property tax revenue to jump by $35.5 million this year, the highest percentage increase since 2009. Property tax bills in Lake Oswego will rise by an average of 2.5 percent and Clackamas County will have about $35.5 million more in tax dollars to use this year, according to county Assessor Bob Vroman.

The revenue boost — the highest percentage increase since 2009 — is partly due to a rosier economic picture and an increase in new construction, Vroman said this week as the county prepared to send property tax notices.

Tax bills are expected to be mailed Oct. 17, with payments due on Nov. 17.

Real market value had increased 11 percent to $51 billion by Jan. 1, though the assessor says the total value of the county’s properties is still $9 billion below the all-time high set on Jan. 1, 2008.

The total amount of property taxes the county will collect this fiscal year is $684.8 million. In 2013, the largest payers of property taxes in the county were Shorenstein Properties, LLC, which owns Kruse Woods Corporate Park in Lake Oswego; General Growth Properties, Inc., which owns Clackamas Town Center; and Fred Meyer Stores, Inc.

This year’s 5.48 percent bump in government revenue is also due to more voter-approved spending measures, the expected 3 percent increase in assessed values, and the first decline since 2007 in the amount of money Oregon’s Measure 5 prohibits the county from collecting.

Clackamas County has 62,949 properties that pay less in tax because their combined taxing districts charge more than Measure 5’s limits of $5 per $1,000 of assessed value for schools and $10 per $1,000 for government. This is called compression, and each of the districts share in the loss. Taxes lost from compression will be $13.7 million this fiscal year as opposed to last year’s $20.1 million.

Though much of the county will only see the 3 percent or less increase made customary by Measure 50’s restriction on assessed values, some properties will see much higher jumps due to voter-approved bonded debt.

Residents in Mulino, Molalla and Estacada will see the biggest jumps in their bills, ranging from 7 percent to 9.5 percent, in part to pay for fire and school services.

The Molalla Fire District will add a combined total of 69.24 cents per $1,000 of assessed value. The Estacada School District is levying 68 cents more per $1,000 of assessed value than last year.

Riverdale is the only area that will see a decrease in property taxes, by 1.5 percent, due to lower school and fire payments.

For every tax dollar in Clackamas County, 47.04 cents is spent on education, 18.67 cents is spent on county services and 13.07 cents is spent on city services. The rest goes to fire, urban renewal, libraries, sewer, and other government services.

Contact Shasta Kearns Moore at 503-546-5134 or shasta@portlandtribune.com.

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