County Taxes May Increase Without a Vote!


…(From the City of Brookings Weekly Report – May 11, 2015)…

Public hearings on three Bills (all House Joint Resolutions which would be Constitutional Amendments) that would have significant impact on taxes paid by Oregon property owners were held by the House Revenue Committee on Wednesday [May6th].

HJR 21 Proposes an amendment to the Oregon Constitution that would provide that the rate of advalorem property taxes imposed by a county for any property tax year may not be less than $2.00 per $1,000 of assessed value and excepts the $2.00 per $1,000 minimum from compression under Ballot Measure 5 (1990).

HJR 20 Proposes a revision of the Oregon Constitution to authorize imposition of local option ad valorem property taxes outside certain constitutional limitations and to require enactment of a property tax relief program to freeze assessed value of homesteads of certain seniors and individuals with disabilities at the assessed value on date claim is filed.

HJR 12 Proposes an amendment to the Oregon Constitution to reset the assessed value and maximum assessed value to the real market value for property that is subject of a sale or other transfer.

Constitutional Amendments require statewide voter approval. As property owners in the most populous counties in Oregon are already paying at least a $2.00 tax rate to their county, it would seem likely that a Constitutional Amendment embodying HJR 21 would pass. In Curry County, the general government county tax rate would immediately jump from $0.59 to $2.00. As of this writing, it is unclear as to whether the $2.00 minimum would be in addition to any locally-approved law enforcement district tax.

Passage of the Constitutional Amendment proposed in HJR 21 would take the authority of Curry County voters to approve a property tax increase for county services out of the hands of Curry County voters. It would “solve” what some believe is the “problem” of not being able to secure local voter approval of a local property tax. Curry County Assessor Jim Kolen testified in favor of HJR 21

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