Nov. 6, 2010

Deciphering your Portland Real Estate Property Tax Statement

Oregon has a complicated property tax system.  Could be the most difficult to understand system in the entire country. 
Oregon real estate property taxes have  two values that appear on each statement.

  • Real Market Value (RMV)
  • Maximum Assessed Value (MAV)

The RMV  is what the county assessor estimates the actual value of the property (or what it would have sold for on January 1, 2010 for 2010/2011 tax statement).

The MAV, as a result of an Oregon Ballot Measure (50) from the mid 1990s, takes the 1995 value, reduced by 10%, then increased 3% every year after 1997.

Add in that Oregon has two tax rates and confusion continues.  The current rate(usually higher) applies to the MAV.  The other rate (Oregon Ballot Measure 5 from  1990)  limits the tax to .5% on education, 1% on government but no limits on whatever voters have approved in each tax district (bonds, levies, etc…).  This rate only applies to the RMV.

You are taxed on whatever value is LOWER.  That becomes your AssessedValue.

During the Portland real estate boom in the mid 2000?s, some property values were increasing at 10% per year(sometimes more), Portland real estate property taxes were only go up 3%.  Sounds great when values were going up but, now that Portland real estate values are stagnant (with some still in decline), property taxes are still rising at the consistent pace of 3% per year.  Since MAV has been capped since 1997, it should be lower than RMV and that is why your property taxes aren’t going down.

I was in a Oregon property tax seminar and the presenter pointed out a couple of things to look for on your property tax statement.

  • Did your assessed value go up by more than 3%?
  • Is the RMV more than your property is worth as of January 1, 2010?
  • Are you being taxed for something that does not exist?

If so, or if you have any questions about your tax statement, I suggest you to call an Oregon property tax professional to help you decide.  Contact me if you want a name that can take a look for you let you know if you have something to contest.



Rich Peralta is a real estate professional in the Portland Metro Area,  including Lake Oswego and  West Linn Real Estate.

He can be reached at 503.961.2181 or by e-mail at

Contact him  for more information on Portland,  Lake Oswego or West Linn Real Estate!


Originally posted on West Linn Real Estate.


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