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Douglas County Appraisals, Value Review & Appeals:
Information & Links

The process of identifying taxable property and assigning a value to property is termed appraisal. County appraisers appraise most property in Douglas County using the mass appraisal method. The Oregon Department of Revenue (ODOR) appraises certain large industrial sites and utility properties. The county assessor prepares the county's assessment roll, which is a listing of all taxable property as of January 1 of each year.

Utility property is placed on a statewide assessment roll. The department (ODOR) allocates utility values to the county rolls prior to the preparation of tax bills.

Property subject to taxation includes all privately owned real property (e.g., land, buildings, fixed machinery and equipment), manufactured homes, and personal property used in a business. There is no property tax on household furnishings; personal belongings and automobiles; crops; orchards. Business inventories or certain intangible properties are assessed by the Department of Revenue.

A business owning or possessing taxable business personal property must file a Confidential Personal Property Return (form 150-553-004) with the County assessor in the county where the property is located by March 1. If the assessor determines that the total value of the business's personal property in the county is less than the annual threshold determined by DOR annually, the assessor will cancel the assessment. This amount can change each year. A personal property return is still required even if the valuation is below the threshold. The assessment cancellation is not applicable to personal property manufactured homes.

Most property used for religious, fraternal, and governmental purposes is exempt. However, having an exempt 501c3 status does not automatically make a property exempt from paying taxes; an exempt application may need to be filed. Although an exemption negates paying property taxes, the organization is still responsible for any special assessments. Reductions in assessments are granted for certain types of property such as farmland, forestland, and historical buildings. Properties owned by disabled veterans may also be given reduced assessments.

Questioning your property value?

Property owners are encouraged to contact the Assessor’s office first instead of filing an appeal directly.  We welcome the opportunity to explain your value and review your account.  A property owner may request an Owner Value Review (OVR) after receiving a tax bill. You will be required to provide evidence* to support why your Real Market Value on your property is incorrect.  Your evidence must reflect the value of the property as existed on January 1. An appraiser will review your supporting documents; verify components / inventory; check for data errors and review sales / listing activity in your area to determine whether a value adjustment is in order.

A significant reduction in RMV may be required to reduce your taxes. To review your Maximum Assessed Value a "new" change must have occurred. This review process may be requested through December 1st.  The assessor’s staff requests that property owners not wait until the cut-off date to file a form.  Adequate time is needed to review the request and submitted evidence to determine if a value change is warranted. If it results in a reduction, tax corrections need to be processed per ORS 308.242 by December 31st. 

General Property Tax Appeal Information

The Assessor’s Office reviews your Real Market Value (RMV) and if you still do not agree with your value you can file a formal Board of Property Tax Appeal (BoPTA) petition. Petitions to the board may be filed after tax bills are received in late October and by the December 31st deadline. (If December 31st falls on a legal holiday or weekend, the filing deadline moves to the next business day.) These forms are available online via the Douglas County Clerk’s website.

BOPTA is limited to the current tax year values. In some cases, you may be able to appeal the Maximum Assessed Value (MAV), Specially Assessed Value (SAV) and Assessed Value (AV) of your property.
The Board of Property Tax Appeals also can hear appeals of penalties assessed for the late filing of real and personal property returns. The board has jurisdiction to waive all or a portion of a penalty if the petitioner can prove there was good and sufficient cause for the late filing or for first-time non-filers.

PLEASE NOTE: A reduction in the Real Market Value may NOT change your tax bill. This depends on whether:

  • The RMV is reduced below the Assessed Value on your tax statement, or
  • If the RMV is reduced enough to reflect the lesser of tax between the Measure 5 calculation and the Measure 50 calculation.

Generally, to be successful in your appeal, you must provide evidence to support your opinion of the market value of your property on January 1, the date the assessor used to establish the real market value of your property.The back side of the petition states "Provide enough information to support the value(s) you are requesting. Be specific."   A common mistake taxpayers or representatives make when filing a petition is that the only statement made is that their value it too high and supply no supporting documentation.  Without this evidence the appraiser cannot adequately review the property value.


A key factor to remember throughout this process is the difference between what IS and what is NOT supporting documentation as this evidence might be used to convince the board the value of your property should be reduced to the value you are requesting.

1. Supporting documentation IS:

  1. Documentation of a recent arm's - length sale of the property.
  2. Sales of homes similar in size, quality, location and close to the January 1st Assessment Date.
  3. A fee appraisal that establishes market value using sales of similar properties as of the January 1st Assessment Date. (Note: most fee appraisals are requested for refinance purposes and not to establish market values.)
  4. A detailed market analysis from a licensed real estate agent/broker showing sales of similar properties as of the January 1st Assessment Date.
  5. Cost of new construction that took place close to January 1 of the assessment year and was performed by a professional contractor.
  6. Report from a licensed contractor on the cost to fix major repairs; provide written estimates/receipts of the cost of the repairs.  Remember cost does not necessarily equal market value.
  7. Proof that the property has been listed for sale on the open market for a reasonable time period below the real market value on the tax roll.
  8. For commercial property, provide documentation of income and expense information and/or a comparable sales analysis.
Note: Per ORS 309.200 sales between January 1 and December 31 of each year will be utilized for the ratio study.

2. Supporting Documentation is NOT:

  1. Statistical analysis reports from either the state, county, magazine, newspapers, universities or organizations associated with the real estate industry.
  2. Old listings.
  3. Sales from outside your market area.
  4. A comparison of your Real Market Value to your neighbors.
  5. A comparison of your Assessed Value to your neighbors.
  6. A comparison of your taxes to your neighbors.

The owner(s) can sign the petition to the board and represent themselves at the hearing or authorize certain other persons to sign the petition for them. Those persons who can be authorized to sign a petition are explained on the petition form.

Completed petitions are filed in the office of the county clerk in the county where the property is located. Petitions are not to be dropped off or mailed to the county assessor’s office.  At this time, there is no fee for filing an appeal with the Board of Property Tax Appeals.

Hearings are scheduled between the first Monday in February and April 15. The clerk of the board will give written notice to the petitioner at least five days prior of the hearing of the time and place to appear.
In Douglas County hearings are typically completed by the first part of March. Board hearings are informal, and the property owner is not required to appear or have an attorney or a tax representative present.

The board will consider the evidence from the property owner or rep and the county assessor. The board will make a decision whether the property owner or rep is there. The county clerk notifies the property owner or their representative in writing of the board’s decision.  If a property tax representative is hired, it is their responsibility to notify the property owner of the decision, not the county clerk or the assessor’s office.  When appearing, any evidence submitted to the board will not be given back.

Owners of industrial property appraised by the Oregon Department of Revenue must file their appeals directly with the Magistrate Division of the Oregon Tax Court, rather than with the Board of Property Tax Appeals. There is a fee for filing an appeal with the Magistrate Division. The deadline for filing an appeal with the Magistrate Division is also December 31. If December 31 falls on a legal holiday or weekend, the filing deadline moves to the next business day.

If a property owner is not satisfied with the board's decision regarding property value, the property owner may appeal to the Magistrate Division of the Oregon Tax Court. Magistrate decisions can be appealed to the Regular Division of the Tax Court. Decisions of the Regular Division of the Tax Court can be appealed to the Oregon Supreme Court. Complaints must be filed within 30 days (not one month), of the date that the board's order is mailed. A filing fee of $252 is charged at this level of the appeal process.

Summary of Appeal Filing Information

Board of Property Tax Appeals Filing Information
Appeals are filed with the county Clerk's Office in the county where the property is located. This must be done after you receive your tax statement, but not later than December 31 unless December 31 falls on a weekend or legal holiday. If December 31 falls on a weekend or holiday, the filing deadline moves to the next business day.
If you miss the above deadline, or you disagree with a prior year's value, you may file an appeal with the Magistrate Division of the Oregon Tax Court. Appeal forms may be obtained by calling Oregon Tax Court, Magistrate Division, 503-986-5650. CERTAIN STANDARDS MUST BE MET TO HAVE THE MAGISTRATE HEAR THE APPEAL. All appeal forms are available below or download an Information Circular Department of Revenue Circular.

A $252 filing fee is charged for the following appeals:

  • Oregon Tax Court - Magistrate Division
    A BoPTA decision may be appealed to the Magistrate Division of the Oregon Tax Court by filing a written complaint. Complaints must be filed with the Magistrate Division within 30 days (not one month), after the board's order is mailed to you. Forms

  • Oregon Tax Court - Regular Division
    A magistrate decision may be appealed to the Regular Division of the Oregon Tax Court. To appeal, file your complaint with the court clerk within 60 days (not two months) after the date of the magistrate's decision. The tax court clerk will notify you of the trial date and time. Forms

  • A trial in the Regular Division of the Oregon Tax Court is a formal proceeding. Although you may represent yourself, most people prefer to be represented by a lawyer. If you are not satisfied with the tax court decision, you can appeal to the Oregon Supreme Court.


COMMON QUESTIONS:

If my RMV is reduced, why won’t my taxes be reduced?

If I file an Appeal, do I still pay my property taxes?

What happens after I file an Appeal?

What if both parties come to an agreement of value before the Board meets?

What if both parties still disagree as to the value of the property?

DISCLAIMER

The information provided here is for convenience ONLY. For All Commercial, Industrial, and Multi-Family Properties visit the Douglas County Assessor's Office. The records located at the Douglas County Assessor's office are the one and only legal instruments for Assessment purposes. Although reasonable attempts are made to maintain this information as accurate as possible, these documents are being provided as an informational convenience ONLY. Douglas County in no way will be liable for any inaccuracies, inconsistencies, errors, omissions, or other deviations in these documents from the original copies maintained and filed at the Douglas County Assessor's Office.