Your Property Assessment
Property is taxed on its Assessed Value. A property's Assessed Value is the lower of its Real Market Value (RMV) or its maximum Assessed Value (MAV). Each year, the county assessor determines the property's RMV and calculates its MAV. You are taxed on the lesser of the two, which is called the Assessed Value. RMV and MAV are defined below.
Real Market Value (RMV)
Oregon law says the assessor must value all property at 100 percent of its RMV. RMV is typically the price your property would sell for in a transaction between a willing buyer and a willing seller on January 1, the assessment date for the tax year. To estimate the RMV for your property, your county assessor appraises your property by comparing sales of similar properties, building costs and net operating income if applicable. Some property, such as farm or forest property, may be subject to special valuation processes.
Maximum Assessed Value (MAV)
A property's Maximum Assessed Value (MAV) is the taxable value limit established for each property. The first MAV for each property was set in the 1997-98 tax year. For that year, the MAV was the property's 1995-96 RMV minus 10 percent. For example, if a residential property had a RMV of $100,000 for the 1995-96 tax year, its 1997-98 MAV would have been $90,000. MAV can increase for only two reasons: a three (3) percent annual increase or specific property events called exceptions.
1. Three Percent Increase
For tax years after 1997-98, MAV is defined as the greater of the prior year's MAV or the
prior year's Assessed Value increased by 3 percent. For the majority of Washington County
accounts, the MAV will increase 3 percent per year. There are two exceptions to the 3 percent increase.
If the RMV is less than the MAV for two consecutive years, the MAV will not increase. Certain
property events, such as new construction, can cause the MAV to increase more than 3 percent.
The MAV can increase by more than 3 percent for any of the following property events:
- Changes in the property value as the result of new property or new improvements to property,
- The property is partitioned or subdivided,
- The property is rezoned and the use is changed consistent with rezoning,
- The property was omitted from previous tax rolls, or
- The property becomes disqualified from exemption, partial exemption or special assessment.
New construction affects MAV if it increases the value of the property by more than $10,000 in any one year or $25,000 within any consecutive five years. These property events from minor construction will generally increase RMV, although they may not change MAV.