Property Tax Appeals and Corrections

Requests for Review and Appeals 

 

If you believe the real market value of your property as shown on your tax statement is too high, the first thing to do is contact the assessor's office and discuss the value with one of the appraisal staff.  We can explain how we arrived at the value. It is important to remember that the value on your tax statement is as of January 1, almost 10 months before you receive your tax statement.  The value will not and should not reflect any market trends after the January 1 assessment date.  You can request a formal review and an appraiser will visit the property or review the file to check for accuracy.  A formal RFR must be submitted to our office no later than December 5.  You will receive our decision by December 15.  If you are still not satisfied you can file an appeal with the local Board of Property Tax Appeals (BoPTA). The appeal must be filed with the County Clerk by December 31.  If that is still not satisfactory, you have three more appeal levels (Magistrate Division of the Oregon Tax CourtRegular Division of the Oregon Tax Court, and Oregon Supreme Court). Request for Review and BoPTA Appeal forms can be downloaded from our Forms and Publications page.


 
For more information on Property Tax Appeals, see the Department of Revenue Publication How to Appeal Your Property Value.
Other Reviews 

Damaged or Destroyed Property:  If your property has been damaged or destroyed, you may be eligible for a tax proration.    If the damage or destruction is due to fire or Act of God, you can file an application to have your tax prorated.  For damaged properties, the property is inspected to determine the amount of damage before repairs, and taxes are prorated for the number of months until repairs are complete or until the end of the current tax year, whichever is earlier.  For destroyed properties, the property is inspected and the taxes are prorated for the remainder of the current tax year.  The maximum assessed value of your property will also be adjusted the following tax year based on the damage or destruction.

Demolished Property:  For properties that have been demolished, you may apply to have your maximum assessed value adjusted for the following tax year, however, it is not eligible for proration of taxes during the current tax year.  If demolition occurs between January 1 and June 30, you may also file an application for a reassessment of your property as of July 1 for the next tax year rather than the normal assessment date of January 1. 

Error in Square Footage:  If you notice a large difference between the actual square footage of a home or other structure compared to the square footage listed in our records, you may apply to have your maximum assessed value adjusted based on the differences.  The square footage difference must be based on exterior measurements of the building(s) and upon application, an appraiser will be assigned to remeasure the structure.  Only the current tax year will be adjusted, this correction cannot be made for previous tax years. 

Clerical Errors and Omitted Property

Although we try to certify an accurate and timely tax roll each year, with nearly 29000 tax accounts to maintain, errors do occur.   These errors occur due to a variety of reasons which may include applying an incorrect trend, entering data incorrectly, or even computer programming 'glitches'.  Errors found on assessment and tax rolls that have already been certified are corrected according to Oregon Revised Statutes, Chapter 311 and Oregon Administrative Rules, Chapter 150, Division 311.

Clerical Errors - Reductions

 

  • ORS 311.205, 311.206
  • OAR 150-311.205(1)(a), 150-311.205(1)(b)-(B). 150-311.205(1)(b)-(C)

 

Any clerical error discovered that results in a tax reduction may be corrected for the current tax year and up to the last five certified rolls in which the error existed.  Reductions are processed at the time of discovery, and the property owner is notified and sent a refund (if no past taxes are due) usually within 30 days.  If property taxes are past due, the refund is applied as a credit.

Clerical Errors - Increases

 

  • ORS 311.205, 311.206, 311.208, 311.223, 311.229
  • OAR 150-311.205(1)(a), 150-311.205(1)(b)-(C)

 

Any clerical error discovered that results in a tax increase may be corrected for the current tax year and up to the last five certified tax rolls in which the error existed.  However, before the roll can be corrected, the assessor must notify the property owner of the error and provide at least 20 days for the property owner to respond and give cause why the corrections should not be made.  If the property owner fails to respond or is unable to give good and sufficient cause why the correction should not be made, the assessment rolls are corrected and the property owner is notified of the action by certified mail.  The additional taxes for the earliest tax year shall be added to the account on the following assessment and tax roll and be payable along with all other taxes and assessments for that year starting on November 15.  The additional taxes for each subsequent tax year through the tax year in which the correction is made shall be added in chronological order to the tax extended against the property on the following assessment and tax rolls for the second, third, fourth, and fifth tax years following the tax year in which the correction is made.

If the error affects only the current tax year, and if it is discovered prior to December 1, the assessor may correct the roll and send a notification to the owner with appeal rights.  A new tax statement will be sent with an additional 30 days to pay the tax with a full discount and no interest. 

Omitted Property

 

  • ORS 311.216, 311.219, 311.223, 311.226, 311.229, 311.232
  • OAR 150-311.216

 

Any property discovered that is new since the last appraisal inspection but has been omitted from  the assessment and tax rolls must be added for the current tax year and up to the last five certified tax rolls in which the property was omitted.  The property owner is given the opportunity to give good and sufficient cause why the property should not be added in the same manner as clerical error increases, however, the total additional tax amount for all tax years corrected is added to the following tax roll and are payable along with all other taxes and assessments for that year starting on November 15.

Appraisal Judgment Errors

 

  • OAR 150-311.205(1)(b)-(A)

 

Errors in appraisal judgment are not correctable under Oregon Revised Statutes and Administrative Rules.  Appraisal judgment errors may include, but are not limited to, the quality and condition of structures, acreage corrections due to remapping, and incorrect size.  These errors can only be corrected for the current assessment and tax roll if done prior to December 31 of the current tax year or if an appeal has been timely filed with the Board of Property Tax Appeals, or they can be corrected for the following tax year.  Correction of appraisal judgment errors are only made to the real market value of the property and will not affect the tax assessed value unless the real market value falls below the maximum assessed value.

Correction Limitation Due to Sale of Property

 

  • ORS 311.235

 

For errors that occurred in years prior to a new property owner, and the sale was a real market sale, only the certified tax rolls since the new property owner purchased may be corrected.

Property Records Online

By clicking on either of the links below, you agree to our DISCLAIMER.

** A New Version of Columbia County Web Maps has been Released Click Here for help **

*** The Previous Version of Columbia County Webmaps Will be Discontinued 8/13/2021 ***

A & T Web Query                                                  Columbia County Web Map

Assessors quick links
General Information
Phone Numbers
503-397-2240
Fax: 503-397-5153
Emergencies: Dial 911
Location
230 Strand St.
Columbia County Courthouse Annex
St. Helens,
OR
97051

Monday - Friday
8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.