Lake Oswego Real Estate Property Tax Value ResetsPooh

Real Estate Property Tax Values In Oregon

Property tax real market values are assigned by using market activity in a certain geographic area. Measure 50, voted in by the voters in 1997 put a 3% limitation on assessed value increases every year and would have theoretically capped the tax increases at the same rate. Many homeowners, and future buyers, believe that property taxes can only increase by 3% every year.

Problem is, voters have been very generous in voting in bonds and levies over and above the Measure 50 limitation. The library levy and school bond issue voted in by Multnomah County in 2012 are some examples. Those 2 levies increased the average tax bill by over 10% when they were implemented in the 2013 tax bills sent to property owners. Basically, the 3% limitation has “gone away”.

The County Tax Assessor can assign a new or updated value to your home at any time. Further, the County Tax Assessor has the right to levy property taxes for the current tax year plus the prior 5 years! You, as the taxpayer, must prove any errors and/or your innocence

Home Values Increasing

With the Portland metro area and Lake Oswego real estate market values increasing, the County assessor has hired additional workers to “watch” what is currently on the market for sale and what has sold so they can levy additional property taxes.

One of the many things those new hired workers are looking at is what is being posted into the remarks section of our RMLS™ such as any square footage differences from what is recorded in tax records, and any major improvements and remodeling of “significant difference”, etc.  In addition, as real estate agents we post pictures on line of the interior of homes, and the County is looking at those as well.

Gross Error Statute

ORS 305.288 states that if the real market value assigned to you property (from 1 to 4 units only) by the assessor is 20% or more above the actual market value, you have the right to appeal for that year plus the prior 2 (Note: the County can go back 5 years, but you as a homeowner can only go back 2 years).

As an example, if during the recent recession or recently, you sold your house for less than what the county showed as the real market value, you have the right to appeal your taxes.  The court filing fee is $252 to start that process.  You will have to allow the assessor access to your property.  Should the court find in your favor, the statute requires the County Assessor to pay you 12% interest on the over payment of taxes from when you paid them.

Representing Square Footage

There have been several cases lately where there was a huge discrepancy regarding the square footage of a property.  Perhaps you purchased a home that originally had an unfinished daylight basement/basement, and years later you decide to finish that basement.  You have now added living space and additional square footage to your property that has not been assessed. Or there was an area that was deemed storage or other unfinished area such as an attic that you have remodeled, and now you also have more living space.

This is referred to as “omitted property” and the County Assessors are watching closely so they can levy back taxes on your home. When the County Assessors find omitted property, they notify the owner and add the property to the tax rolls.  The law allows them to re-assess the property for the current year and previous years – as indicated above – going back 5 years.  Once omitted property has been added to the tax rolls, the assessment for the omitted property becomes a lien on the property and the owner must pay or risk foreclosure.  Because more new buyers are not willing to purchase property with liens for prior years (and because mortgage lenders will not allow it) property owners must pay those back taxes that are due when they sell the property.

TRC – Tax Roll Correction

In some Clackamas County homes, I am aware the Assessor included unfinished garages as total living square footage.  If you know this to be true, you can file a TRC and request a tax roll correction where you can challenge those property taxes.

If you have any questions about a property, contact the appropriate County Tax Assessor.  Real Estate agents are not permitted to give advice on omitted property assessments.


There are links above to search for real estate.  I have a new website where you can search or you can use my mobile phone app as well. My website and mobile app provide you with access to all listings available on the RMLS™ system regardless of who the listing agent or brokerage may be. Listings are updated frequently throughout the day giving you the information you need, when you need it.

Thinking of Selling Your Lake Oswego Home?

Prices are increasing at a fast pace in Lake Oswego. Interest rates are still low and there is a huge pool of buyer demand. I have ready, willing and able buyers ready to purchase your home. If you want to know the value of your home in today’s real estate market, please call me at 503-804-9685.

Moving to Lake Oswego?

Want to know more about Lake Oswego? I’d love to be your buyer’s agent, please give me a call at 503-804-9685.

I have worked in Lake Oswego as a Real Estate Broker since 1978 and have lived in Lake Oswego since 1988 and know all the neighborhoods! The real estate market is “hot” here in the Portland metro area and Lake Oswego. I am ready to assist you with all your real estate needs! “There is no substitute for experience.”

ALL ABOUT…..Lake Oswego Real Estate Copyright 2008-2016. Betty Jung. All Rights Reserved. Use of this article, photos and images without permission is in violation of federal copyright laws