The county with the lowest average tax rate in the state of Oregon continues to be Curry County. Jim Kolen, County Assessor, reports that in the tax year 2006/2207 the county's average tax rate was $8.90 per thousand dollars of assessed valuation. The statewide average was $15.20 per thousand. The county with the next lowest average tax rate was Josephine where the average tax rate was $9.50 per thousand. According to our Assessor, statewide the cost of county government averages approximately 17% of the property tax bill. In Curry County the cost averages 6.58% of our property tax bills.
Jim Kolen explained that in most of the counties in Oregon we do not pay taxes of the Real Market Value (RMV) of our properties. In 1996, when voters passed Measure 50 to place a limitation of property tax increases the counties were directed to roll back Assessed Values and then limited to increases of 3% per year. Property owners will only pay taxes on their RMV if it is lower than Measure 50 assessed value.
He explains that historically, Curry County's tax rates have remained low due to the ability to harvest timber lands in the county. When Federal Regulations restricted the harvest of these timber lands the Federal Government provided funds as compensation for lossed revenues to counties in Oregon and California (O&C). Up until recently the O & C funds have paid for the bulk of county services. However, the allocation of these funds is limited to 4 more years through year 2013 after which the voters of Curry County will have to determine the level of county services that they want and how much they are willing to pay for them.
There are changes ahead but the bottom line is Oregonian's do not like taxes