Brief History

Assessor Department History

  • Property taxes were the only tax in Oregon from 1859 to 1929.
  • In 1916 Oregon had its first property tax limitation measure: Taxing District levies were limited to a 6% annual growth.
  • In 1929 the State Income Tax was passed by the Legislature.
  • In 1942 the two taxes and their revenue were split: Income Tax revenue was assigned to the state to support state government services; Property Tax revenue was assigned exclusively to the local government districts and local school districts.
  • In 1989 Measure 5, Oregon's second property tax limitation measure (but first since 1916), was approved by the voters. Measure 5 limited the total tax rate to: $10 per thousand dollars of a property's real market value for local government services; $5 per thousand dollars real market value for local school services.
  • In 1997 Measure 47, Oregon's third property tax limitation measure, was approved by the voters. Measure 47 was fatally flawed and resulted in Measure 50. Measure 50 established a permanent tax rate for each taxing district and limits the growth in assessed value to no more than 3% per year.
  • Now, for every individual property account, the property tax amount computed under Measure 5 is compared with the tax amount computed under Measure 50, and the lowest tax amount is placed on the property tax statement.