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October 31, 2012
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Douglas County property taxes rise 2 percent

For many Douglas County homeowners, the tax bills they received last week had a one-two punch — higher taxes on a house worth less.

The county assessor’s office mailed 77,067 property tax bills, seeking $92.6 million, up 2.2 percent from last year’s $90.6 million.

Taxes will be distributed to 110 taxing districts in the county. The Roseburg School District will receive the largest single payment, $15.8 million.

Meanwhile, a slide in market values slowed but did not stop, falling 3 percent countywide, half the rate of the year before. While home values declined, assessed values, the figure taxes are based on, increased by 3 percent.

Canyonville resident Ted Quincey received a fairly typical bill. The market and assessed values on his three-bedroom manufactured home built in 2005 rose slightly, and his tax bill of roughly $1,000 is about $100 more than last year.

“I’m thinking of appealing that,” he said.

Roseburg resident Vivian Sherriff was among the taxpayers who saw little change in their taxes.

“It went up a dollar,” said Sherriff, who will pay $1,612 on a two-bedroom home built in 1946 on West Myrtle Avenue. The market value of the house dipped slightly to $128,000.

Drain resident Robert Douglas, who resides on Division Street, had nearly the same experience. The assessed value of his three-bedroom home, built in 1929 and surrounded by nearly 12 acres of land and valued at $182,955, rose slightly.

“There wasn’t much variation in the tax bill. It’s within about $10 of last year,” he said.

Other top-collecting school districts include Glide ($4.4 million), Winston-Dillard ($3.4 million) and Sutherlin and South Umpqua ($2.8 million each).

The Douglas Education Service District will receive $3.8 million, while Umpqua Community College will receive $3.3 million.

Among cities, Roseburg will receive $12.1 million, followed by Sutherlin ($2.6 million), Reedsport ($1.3 million), Myrtle Creek ($1 million) and Winston ($926,248).

Douglas County will receive $8.9 million, up from $8.5 million last year.

Among fire districts, Douglas County Fire District No. 2 will collect $6.2 million, followed by Winston-Dillard ($1.7 million) and North County Fire & EMS ($592,000).

The average tax rate countywide is $10.14 per $1,000 of assessed property value. This year’s average is 3 cents higher per $1,000 than the 2011 average.

Homeowners in Umpqua and in rural areas outside the city of Roseburg pay the lowest taxes at $6.81 per $1,000 of assessed value. Reedsport residents pay the highest taxes at $18.71 per $1,000.

The passage of Measure 50 in 1997 restricted property taxes by limiting yearly increases for taxing districts to 3 percent. When property values rise at a faster clip, a gap develops between a property’s real market value and the assessed value.

Tax payments are due Nov. 15, with a 3 percent discount given for full payments and a 2 percent discount if at least two-thirds of the amount due is paid by then.

Taxpayers can also make three equal payments by Nov. 15, Feb. 15 and May 15. No discount is offered under that plan, but property owners are not charged any interest, either.

Property owners who have questions or concerns about their assessments can contact the assessor’s office at 541-440-4222. The assessor’s office can adjust assessments through an informal review process until Dec. 1.

Dissatisfied taxpayers can appeal their assessments to the county Board of Property Tax Appeals by Dec. 31. Appeals hearings are held in February.

• You can reach reporter John Sowell at 541-957-4209 or by email at jsowell@nrtoday.com.


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The News-Review Updated Nov 2, 2012 04:02PM Published Nov 2, 2012 04:39PM Copyright 2012 The News-Review. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.