Portland, OR

Multnomah County Property Taxes are due soon, but what if you can't pay the huge increase?

Rose Bak

Property taxes increased again this year, but help may be available. Here's what you need to know.

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It's the time of the year that makes many homeowners cringe: time to pay your property taxes. This week Multnomah County's Division of Assessment, Recording, and Taxation (DART) began sending out annual property tax bills to over 300,000 local property owners.

Your property tax bill covers the current County fiscal year of July 1, 2021 through June 30, 2022. Payments are due on November 15th.

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As reported by many outlets, property taxes in Multnomah County increased a jaw-dropping 8.38% this year. The county estimates that $2.218 billion will be collected this year. The County keeps 23 cents of every dollar collected, and remaining funds go to pay other taxing districts including:

  • The city your property is located in
  • Your school district
  • Multnomah County Library
  • Metro
  • Port of Portland
  • Police and fire pension funds
  • Soil and water districts
  • Portland Community College
  • Historical Society

The funds collected include local government taxes as well as voter-approved bond measures.

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According to Tax-Rates.org, the median property tax in Multnomah County is $2,774 per year for a home worth the median value of $281,600, although that information appears to be dated compared to current home prices.

Although Multnomah County has the second-highest property tax rates in the state, property taxes throughout the State of Oregon are higher than most other states, partly to offset the lack of a sales tax. Taxes are higher for residents of the City of Portland compared to other jurisdictions in the county.

Even though tax statements come at this time every year, it can still be a shock to receive a bill for $3,000 or more that's due in three weeks. Here are some options that can help you manage your property tax bill.

First, there are some discounts you can take advantage of. If you pay your bill in full by the November 15th deadline there is a 3% discount on your bill. If you can pay 2/3 of your bill by the due date, you will receive a 2% discount.

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Many people may be eligible for deferrals or exemptions to property taxes.

Older homeowners can apply for the "Senior Citizen Deferral" program. This program allows eligible homeowners age 62 and older to essentially borrow their property taxes from the State of Oregon. The state and county then put a lien on the house to collect the deferred taxes when the house is sold or otherwise changes ownership. The catch is that you can only apply for this deferral program between January 1st and April 15th each year, which means it's too late to apply for help with the bill that's due in a couple of weeks.

Other exemption programs are available for active duty service members, spouses of deceased military members or public safety officers, disabled veterans, and people with disabilities. Requirements and applications processes may vary, so be sure to check out the State of Oregon's webpage for more information.

It's important to not just ignore your property tax bill. If the bill is not paid by the due date and other arrangements are not made with the County, you will be assessed late charges, fees, and/or interest. The County may also foreclose on your property for unpaid property taxes.

If you're going to have difficulty paying your taxes in full by the deadline, contact the DART office at 503-988-3326 to discuss payment plans. You can also contact 211info at 2-1-1 to check for resources to help you.

For more information on how your taxes were calculated, historical tax trends, or how to pay your bill, visit the County's DART website.

#portland #multnomah #oregon #homeowner #property #tax

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Rose Bak is a freelance writer who lives in Portland, Oregon with her family and special needs dogs. She writes on a variety of topics including local news, homelessness, poverty, relationships, yoga, and aging. She is also a published author of romantic fiction. For more of Rose's work, visit her website at rosebakenterprises.com or follow her on social media @AuthorRoseBak.

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