The County Scene by Susan Morgan – Property Taxes

THE COUNTY SCENE

Property Taxes

Each year, the Douglas County Tax Collector sends all property tax owners a bill for taxes on the land and buildings we own. If you want to know more about the tax you pay, please take a moment to dig out your Real Property Tax Statement.

On the left hand side of the bill are both the market and assessed value of your land and improvements. The Net Taxable line shows your assessed value, less any exemptions (veterans, etc.) for which you are qualified. The amount of property tax you pay is computed using the Net Taxable value. Tax rates were set by a vote of the citizens in each of the taxing districts, or (in the County’s case) by legislation. The amount of tax to be paid is figured by multiplying the Net Taxable value of your property by the tax rate.

On the right hand side of your property tax bill are the taxing districts that you pay taxes into, and the amount of those taxes. Education taxes are listed first. In this category, all of us pay an assessment to the Douglas Education Service District (ESD) and Umpqua Community College. In addition, your tax bill will include the school district your property is within.

Second, General Government tax districts are listed. The property tax paid to Douglas County is listed in this section. Additional taxes will depend on where you live. City, fire, ambulance, 4H Extension, parks & rec, road, port, and cemetery are some of the districts that may be on your tax statement.

Third, operating levies are listed. Levies pay for specific services or capital improvements and stay on your tax bill for a specific period of time. The total of these three categories make up your tax bill. Here is the breakdown on where your taxes go: 49% go to schools, 24% go to cities, 12% go to fire districts, 10% goes to the county, and all other taxing districts get 5%.

The county will receive around $8.6 million in property taxes this year. For many years all (every cent) of the property taxes have been put into the Sheriff’s budget. This year, patrol, jail and emergency communications will cost about $21.5 million. Our property taxes cover less than half of the Sheriff’s budget To learn more about property tax emptions, go to http://www.co.douglas.or.us/puboaa/district/Table3(PublicVersion14).pdf

To learn more about property tax assessments, go to http://www.co.douglas.or.us/puboaa/district/Tax_Summary_Report_2014.pdf

I always welcome your questions and comments. Please contact me by email at morgan@co.douglas.or.us; by mail at Douglas County Courthouse, Room 217, 1036 SE Douglas, Roseburg, 97470; or by phone at 440-4201.

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