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Taxes Should Crash Too, Right? 

During the boom years of real estate development in bend, and rapidly inflating real estate values, my property valuation for real estate taxes also escalated

During the boom years of real estate development in bend, and rapidly inflating real estate values, my property valuation for real estate taxes also escalated rapidly. In the last five years my assessed value rose 96%, virtually double.

Now that real estate is devaluing at an equally rapid rate, I'm sure the tax assessor is going to do the right, fair (and legal) thing, which is to decrease property valuations. I am anxiously awaiting this year's tax statement to see just how much my assessment is going to decrease. The resulting decrease in my taxes is going to be especially appreciated and needed this year, when most taxpayers are going through especially difficult economic times.

I'm sure there are a few pessimistic landowners out there who would say "no...we aren't expecting the county to do what's right, only to do what is going to bring in more taxes. They'll only apply the law when it comes to increasing taxes, but never to decrease them." How could anyone even think such a thing?

Sue Jamison, Bend

Editor's note: Oregon is what is known as a "property tax" limited state. By law, the county can only increase property taxes at maximum rate of three percent per year, regardless of a home's market value. The value is only readjusted on the sale of a home. While home values have slipped, it probably isn't enough to drop below the "assessed" value for most local homeowners.


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