The Wahkiakum County Eagle - Established as The Skamokawa Eagle in 1891

Property tax limitation law/policy needed

 

April 12, 2018



To The Eagle:

I think the property tax is mostly due to attitude. I found our county’s assessors on my property before I had my full coffee last spring and I told them they needed an appointment. I was informed by the assessor they could come on my property whenever they wished and indicated they would without my permission. I told them to leave and wound up with a tax increase of over 100 percent. It’s not just how the property is assessed, it’s unnecesary attitude. We are a small enough community we don’t need that.

If I remember correctly, the same problem of excessive tax increases was one of the reasons why Mr. Coons got his job, but I now see it’s back to the same old problems.

The solution is what Oregon did state wide, property tax limitation, we can do it countywide with law or policy. Simple: property taxes can only increase 5 percent until sold; that way people who improve their homes a lot don’t get penalized for making the county nicer.

This out of control windfall tax increase is enough to make some owners who wish to improve the county and create future taxable income choose not to and even to destroy existing improvements.

Of course, we must undo the damage already done; this comes with slowly rolling tax assessments back. The county has enough money. After the dust settles the tax base will at least increase 5 percent plus more as people leave and new people join the community and the tax office can go back to a single person, eliminating the two out of control employees as assessments only need made on sales or very special cases.

It has proven itself, worked very well for Oregon state wide for the last few decades.

Don Kinney

Cathlamet

 

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