The resolutions adopting the budgets of the districts, and the amounts to be levied must state the increase, if any, as a percentage of the previous year’s budget and also the actual dollar amount of the increase. The levy amounts are limited by a statutory maximum amount or to an increase no more than 1 percent plus new construction from the previous highest levy usually the preceding year. The districts do not have to take the maximum allowed and a few districts do levy less than the maximum.
Property tax levies are divided into regular and excess levies. Excess levies are those approved directly by the voters, such as bonds and school M & O’s. The regular levies are those approved by the boards or commissioners of each district and are limited to statutory maximums depending on the type of district. The regular levies are divided into Senior (state school, county, county roads and cities), Junior (fire, hospital, library in Pacific county) and other districts (ports, EMS and some others). The total of all regular taxing districts levies is constitutionally limited to 1 percent of the value or $10 per thousand of assessed value. $1,000 for a house valued at $100,000.
The maximum or statutory combined amounts of the Senior Districts (excluding the state school levy) and Junior regular districts cannot be more than $5.90 per thousand of assessed value ($590 for a house assessed at $100,000).
This article will deal with two of the senior districts, the county and the county road. Everyone in the county pays into the county current expense. It is shown as COUNTY on your tax statements. This helps pay for the sheriff, courts, recording, elections, assessor’s office, treasurer’s office and more. It has a statutory limit of $1.80 per thousand of assessed value (av). For 2013 the county levied $3,601,579 at a levy rate of $1.517810 per thousand of av or $151.78 for a $100,000 house. For 2014 the county is limited to a 1% increase or $36,015.79 plus any new construction. This should be approximately $3,655,000 total.
The other fund approved by the county commissioners is the county road fund, shown as ROAD on your tax statements. Every parcel, which is located outside of one of the four incorporated cities, pays into the county road fund, which helps fund the county Department of Public Works. The statutory rate for this is $2.25 per thousand of av. For 2013 the county road levy was $2,943,945 at a levy rate of $1.665494 per thousand of av or a little over $166 for a house appraised at $100,000. The amount to be collected in 2014 is also limited to a 1% or $29,439.45 increase plus new construction for the 2014 tax year. This will be approximately $2,990,000.
Even though many people think that “the county” levies all of their property taxes only these two funds are approved and controlled (with many checks and balances) by the county commissioners. For a property assessed at $100,000 in the 2013 tax year this would have been around $318.33 for a house outside of the city limits or $151.78 for a house inside the city limit.
If you have any questions on these matters or anything else concerning property taxes call me at 875- 9301, 642-9301, 484-7301 or 267-8301