Overview of Oregon Taxes
Oregon has property taxes that are lower than the national average.
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To calculate the exact amount of property tax you will owe requires your property's assessed value and the property tax rates based on your property's address. Please note that we can only estimate your property tax based on median property taxes in your area. There are typically multiple rates in a given area, because your state, county, local schools and emergency responders each receive funding partly through these taxes. In our calculator, we take your home value and multiply that by your county's effective property tax rate. This is equal to the median property tax paid as a percentage of the median home value in your county.
Oregon Property Tax
Property taxes in Oregon are limited by two laws passed during the 1990s: Measure 5 and Measure 50. Combined, these two measures put caps on both the total effective tax rate that cap be applied to any individual property and the growth in assessed values, on which taxes are based. Thanks to those limits, Oregon now has property taxes that are lower than the national average, and homeowners in Oregon enjoy a large amount of consistency in the amount of taxes they pay from one year to the next. Below, we will review those two laws in depth and take a look at property tax rates across the state of Oregon.
How Oregon Property Taxes Work
As in many states, local assessors in Oregon annually appraise properties to determine their fair market value. However, taxes in Oregon do not necessarily apply to market value. Instead, they apply to either the market value or the maximum assessed value, whichever is lower.
The most important aspect of the maximum assessed value is that, so long as it is less than market value (which it usually is), it is limited to 3% annual growth. That means that even when home values are skyrocketing, property taxes should remain relatively stable.
If market value falls below maximum assessed value, the maximum assessed value may freeze or increase by less than 3%. So, for example, if market value and maximum assessed value are both $100,000, and market value increases by 2%, then both market value and maximum assessed value will be $102,000 the following year. On the other hand, if market value increases by 10%, the maximum assessed value will be $103,000 (a 3% increase) while market value will be $110,000.
Oregon Property Tax Rates
Just as the value to which tax rates apply is limited in Oregon, tax rates themselves are limited as well. For any single property, total school district taxes cannot be more than $5 per $1,000 in market value and total general government taxes cannot be more than $10 per $1,000 in market value. (The limits do not apply to bond levies, which must be voter approved.)
Thus, in practice, effective tax rates (annual taxes as a percentage of home value) in Oregon are limited to 1.5%, plus any bond levies. If rates on any property exceed that amount, tax rates on that property are lowered (or “compressed”) until the total rates no longer exceed the limits. If the taxes on a property are up against that limit (or “in compression”) taxes on that property cannot go up, even if everyone else gets a tax raise.
The table below shows the average effective tax rate for every Oregon county. Average effective tax rates are calculated as median annual property tax as a percentage of median home value.
|County||Median Home Value||Median Annual Property Tax Payment||Average Effective Property Tax Rate|
Oregon’s Multnomah County, which encompasses most of the city of Portland, has property taxes near the state average. The county’s average effective tax rate is 1.12%. Listed rates in the city of Portland range from $15 per $1,000 of assessed value to $24 per $1,000. In many parts of the city, however, assessed values are far lower than market values, and thus effective tax rates are much lower.
Effective tax rates in Washington County are roughly equal to those in neighboring Multnomah County. The Washington County average effective tax rate is 1.13%. At that rate a home valued at $250,000 would have annual taxes of $2,825.
Clackamas County stretches from the south Portland suburbs to Mt. Hood and the Cascade Mountains. It is a largely suburban and rural county. The largest city is Lake Oswego, which has a population of about 40,000. The median annual property tax paid my homeowners in Clackamas County is $3,245, highest in the state.
Western Oregon’s Lane County is bordered in the west by the Pacific Ocean and in the east by the Willamette National Forest. More than half of the county’s population resides in the city of Eugene, which is home to the main campus of the University of Oregon. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the median home value in Lane County is $218,900, slightly higher than the national average. The average effective tax rate is 1.00%.
Marion County has among the highest effective property tax rates in Oregon. The county’s average effective tax rate is 1.16%, third highest in the state. In Salem, the state capital and Marion County’s largest city, the total rate is about $18 per $1,000 in assessed value.
Situated along the California border in Southern Oregon, Jackson County has property tax rates in the bottom half of all Oregon Counties. Jackson County’s average effective tax rate is 0.95%. That ranks as the 15th lowest in the state.
Deschutes County is located in central Oregon, east of the Cascade crest. The largest city in Deschutes is Bend, which sits along the Deschutes River. The median property taxes paid by homeowners in Deschutes County is $2,503, fifth highest in the state.
This western Oregon county has the highest effective property tax rates in the state. Linn County’s average effective property tax rate is 1.22%, which ranks first among the state’s 36 counties. At that rate, taxes on a home worth $150,000 would be $1,830 per year.
Douglas County is ninth largest county by population in Oregon. The average effective property tax rate in Douglas County is 0.79%, fifth lowest in the state, and far lower than rates in Oregon’s other most populous counties.
Located southwest of Portland, Yamhill County has effective property tax rates somewhat lower than other counties in the Portland area. The median property tax paid by homeowners in Yamhill County is $2,274 per year. That’s about $800 less than in Multnomah County.
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Property Tax: Which Counties are Getting the Best Bang for Their Buck
SmartAsset’s interactive map highlights the places across the country where property tax dollars are being spent most effectively. Zoom between states and the national map to see the counties getting the biggest bang for their property tax buck.
Our study aims to find the places in the United States where people are getting the most for their property tax dollars. To do this we looked at school rankings, crime rates and property taxes for every county.
As a way to measure the quality of schools, we calculated the average math and reading/language arts proficiencies for all the school districts in the country. Within each state, these schools were then ranked between 1 and 10 (with 10 being the best) based on those average scores.
For each county, we calculated the violent and property crimes per 100,000 residents.
Using the school and crime numbers, we calculated a community score. This is the ratio of the school rank to the combined crime rate per 100,000 residents.
We used the number of households, median home value and average property tax rate to calculate a per capita property tax collected for each county.
Finally, we calculated a tax value by creating a ratio of the community score to the per capita property tax paid. This shows us the counties in the country where people are getting the most bang for their buck, or where their property tax dollars are going the furthest.
Sources: US Census Bureau 2014 American Community Survey, Department of Education, Federal Bureau of Investigation, State Police or Justice Department websites