Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Clatsop County:Proposed Property Re-Appraisal - Frequently Asked Questions

Property Re-Appraisal

The Clatsop County Assessment and Taxation Department is conducting a full re-appraisal of the whole county over the next few years. The reappraisal is starting in the northeast corner of the county to include Westport towards East Astoria.

Frequently Asked Questions:

What is a re-appraisal?
– This is when the appraisers physically inspect every property within a designated area to determine the physical condition and accuracy or county records of the land and all improvements on each parcel of property. This includes measuring buildings, notating type, class and condition of all improvements, and verifying quality and age (depreciation) of each improvement – both exterior and interior.

Why are you doing a re-appraisal? – Based on Oregon Revised Statutes and Department of Revenue Rules and guidelines, the Assessment and Taxation Department is required to properly assess the value of all land and improvements. Since the passage of Ballot Measure 50, this has been and continues to be primarily completed by sales ratio analysis or mass appraisal procedures. To ensure that the appraisal process is done correctly, the appraisal department needs to verify the addition and destruction/deletion of improvements as well as the condition of improvements, which can only be done by physical inspection. We want to make sure that every property has been properly valued by obtaining the Real Market Value (RMV). If your garage has not been maintained and is falling apart, but we show on record that it is in great condition, then we need to correct the value and condition.

Will my taxes change due to re-appraisal? – Your taxes are limited to change by an approved vote in 1997 on Measure 50, which was a constitutional amendment limiting tax increases to 3 percent, with certain exceptions pertaining to omitted property or remodeling (not general maintenance). The re-appraisal will generally not have any impact on your taxes unless your property has an exception. Please note that we are only appraisers and looking for the value of the property, we are not qualified to determine if there are building or code violations nor do we work in that capacity.

Do I have to let the appraiser in my home? – Actually, you do not have to let the appraiser in your home. In the event that the appraiser cannot obtain interior access or if not allowed interior access, the appraiser will ask for permission to complete an exterior appraisal. If denied then the appraisal will be completed from the closest public right of way. In the event there are children with no adult present, the appraiser will leave a door hanger or card and immediately leave the property. At this point the appraiser will complete the appraisal from the public right of way. Without the ability to measure or view the improvement, then the appraisal will be completed based on the appraiser’s best judgment. Without the ability to view the improvements, we do not give you the benefit of the doubt for condition or quality that cannot be verified.

What if I work during the day or no one is ever home? – Then the appraiser can either make an appointment during the county work hours to view the property or the appraiser will have to complete the appraisal based on the appraiser’s best judgment.

How do I know if the appraiser has already seen my home? – All appraisers use bright yellow door hangers that will be placed on what the appraiser deems as the front door. If the gate is locked and the appraiser can’t get to the front door, it will be placed on the gate. The door hangers specifically state if the appraiser does or does NOT need additional information.

How do I know it is a county appraiser and not someone claiming to be the county appraiser? – All county appraisers are driving county cars with the county logo on the doors. Each appraiser is required to carry visibly their county-issued identification badge. Additionally, the appraisers should have a business card and/or prepared yellow door hangers. Please ask to view these items if ever in doubt.

What if I disagree with the values? – In most cases the values will not change your taxes. If you still want to review the values, you are welcome to contact an appraiser during county hours in person or via phone to address your concerns of value. If you are still not satisfied, you always have the right to file an appeal with the Board of Property Tax Appeals.

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