Ugh… My absolute least favorite time of the year is when I get the property tax bill (in our case, several property tax bills). Sure, April 15 is pretty crappy too, but at least I don’t have to write a bunch of big checks to the government.
This year our property tax went down about 10%, a puzzling and pleasant development. The assessed value went up 3% like usual and I thought our tax bills would also go up 3%. I checked online and everything I read indicated that the property tax bill would rise as usual. I thought the voters voted down a bunch of ballots so the tax decreased, but apparently that is not the case.
|values:||last year||this year|
|total RMV value||257,400||225,060|
|assessed value (AV)||188,760||194,420|
In Oregon, we see two numbers in our property tax bill.
- The RMV (Real Market Value) is the estimated value of our home on the previous Jan 1st.
- The AV (Assessed Value) is the attempt to cap the increase of property tax to 3% each year. Measure 50 was passed in 1997 and since then, the AV goes up 3% every year regardless of what happens in the real estate market.
The county calculates the property tax based on the lower number between RMV and AV. As you can see the RMV is generally higher than the AV.
You can imagine my surprise when the AV value went up, but our property tax went down. Last year, I went in to appeal our property tax and actually got a small check back from the county. The surprising thing I learned was that the county won’t take foreclosures and short sales into account when deciding upon an appeal. All the evidence I had taken in were bank sales, so they didn’t lower our property tax very much. The RMV value went down as I appealed, but it is still higher than the AV.
I don’t know if I will file an appeal this year. I guess I should take some time and go over the sales in our neighborhood. If I see anything that I can use, I’ll appeal again.
In conclusion, I have no idea why our property tax bill went down, but I’m not complaining. If I can lower it even more, I would do it in a flash. I guess if the housing value keeps dropping, eventually the RMV will be lower than the AV and we would get substantial savings at that point.
Did you property tax bill increase or decrease this year? Are you planning to appeal?