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Navigating the Fiscal Tapestry: An In-depth Look into Marion County’s 2023-24 Property Tax Roll

Written by Wyatt Jones on Oct. 16th, 2023
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Navigating through the cascading figures and percentages of property values, Marion County, situated in the vibrant heart of Oregon, emerges with the unveiling of its 2023-24 Property Tax Roll. Certified by Assessor Tom Rohlfing on October 4th and subsequently distributed to property owners on October 13th, the information shrouded within these tax statements paint an intricate picture of the fiscal landscape the county traverses. 

The crescendo in figures evokes a spectrum of narratives, one highlighting a moderate growth amid a seemingly thriving residential property market and a contrasting subtle underscore of cautious optimism amidst stable rural property values. A granular analysis provides that the Real Market Value (RMV) – an intricate variable gauging a reasonable expectation of property value between informed buyer and seller – ascended by 5.67%, aggregating at a staggering $69.70 billion. 

In the residential arena, a symbiosis of new constructions, subdivisions, remodels, and areas with escalating values has bolstered the total real market value of residential property, amplifying it to $32.32 billion – a noteworthy 5.10% augmentation compared to the preceding year. Concurrently, the value of rural property, encompassing farms, forest lands, and acreage homes, experienced a modest but steady 1.88% growth, culminating in a total RMV of $14.28 billion. Commercial and Industrial sectors, however, showcased robustness with an RMV increment of 9.71% from 2022, reaching $18.74 billion. 

An analytical lens also reveals nuances within the assessed values across the county, embodying a 5.08% increase, which now hovers at $31.76 billion, approximately 45.57% of the total RMV. A discernible factor for the divergence between market and assessed values hinges upon Measure 50, which imposes a 3% annual cap on the growth of the Maximum Assessed Value for properties that did not undergo substantial alterations.

Yet, this fiscal tapestry is further nuanced by the intervention of tax benefits and adjustments. The quintessential unchanged home, under the wings of Measure 50, will generally perceive a mere 3% enhancement in assessed value. Nonetheless, fluctuations in tax rates induced by the emergence or expiration of bonds will uniquely impact owners across various communities. For instance, Mt. Angel will be subject to a tax increase approximating 9% in light of a new school bond, while properties enveloped by the Monitor Rural Fire Protection District will experience a tax rate augmentation attributed to their newly initiated Local Option Levy.

Complementing these tax scenarios is the Oregon Department of Forestry’s (ODF) certification of a 213.46 cents/acre rate for the 2023-24 tax year, which signals a 56.60 cents/acre increment from the previous tax year. Intriguingly, this augmentation arrives notwithstanding the minimum surcharge maintaining its stability at $18.75 for vacant lots or parcels and $47.50 for lots inclusive of a structure.

The orchestrations of SB 762 in 2021, which mandated the ODF to establish novel programs and amplify capacity for safeguarding public and private forestlands, inadvertently altered the fire patrol rate. A noteworthy element within the bill encompassed a one-time $15 million allocation, designed to partially mitigate the financial burden. Nevertheless, a contemplated extension of this financial cushion failed to weave its way into ODF’s concluding budget.

With tax collectibles for 2023-24 poised at $543,201,779.58, the beneficiaries stringing along this fiscal distribution line prominently feature schools, community colleges, and educational service districts, reaping 45.87% of the total, while other prominent recipients comprise cities, Marion County government, and fire districts. Assessor Rohlfing underscores the imperative of property owners meticulously scrutinizing their tax statements, ensuring the accuracy of ownership, mailing, and location addresses, thereby fostering a harmonious interaction between civic duty and governmental transparency.

In a nod to fiscal prudence, a window for a maximum property tax discount of 3% gracefully opens for those paying in full by November 15th, providing a subtle incentive amidst the myriad of figures and percentages navigating the fiscal waters of Marion County.

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