PORTLAND, Ore. – Bad news is going to be in the mail very soon if you own a home.
Property taxes for Multnomah County residents are about to go out, and the county’s tax assessor said the average hike will be 9.2 percent.
There are several reasons for the hike – chief among them is last November’s trip to the ballots. The bill is coming due for three substantial bond measures that were passed in the election.
The $482 million Portland schools bond was the largest in state history. The Multnomah County library district established permanent funding for libraries. And the Metro natural areas levy raised funds for maintenance and restoration.
The increase will vary wildly depending on where, exactly, a property is located.
Hardest hit will be homes in the Portland Public School District, which will see an increase of 11.1 percent. Homeowners there whose property is valued exactly at the county median of $189,000 would see about a $450 increase on their tax bill.
Increasing property values are also upping homes’ taxable values, by an average of about 2.6 percent.
Homeowners like the Lundgrens, who bought their Laurelhurst home in Northeast Portland 20 years, will get hit with that 11.1 percent higher property tax bill. Last year their property taxes cost them $6,000.
"We know that living in Multnomah County is more expensive, and we choose to because of all that is here for us," said Trina Lundgren. "And we are the lucky ones to be in this neighborhood and we worked many, many years for this."
The Lundgrens said as long as the money is being spent wisely, they are OK paying taxes to maintain schools.
Here's a breakdown of where the money will go:
- $45 million to Portland Public Schools.
- $33 million to Multnomah County libraries so branches can be open seven days a week.
- $3 million to maintain and restore county parks and natural areas.
According to a county spokesman, there are options you can use to cut the costs, including paying the property tax bill in full and having it postmarked by Nov. 15. You can get a 3 percent discount.
KATU reporter Chelsea Kopta contributed to this report.