October surprise: Some property taxes increase

Many homeowners in the county will get a surprise this year because a rebounding real estate market has pushed up property taxes.

About 15 percent of the properties in Jackson County will see an increase beyond the usual 3 percent when tax statements hit mailboxes this week.

House prices dropped over the past few years, resulting in a decrease in taxes for many property owners.

"Now, they're going back up," said county Assessor Joshua Gibson.

In some cases, property taxes could rise by as much as 8 percent, Gibson said.

Property tax statements were sent out Monday and should be hitting mailboxes in the next few days. The due date to qualify for a 3-percent reduction is Nov. 15.

Property owners can contest their tax rates through the Board of Property Tax Appeals at the Jackson County Clerk's office, 10 S. Oakdale Ave.

The filing fee is $30, and appeals must be submitted no later than Dec. 31. Call the County Clerk's office for more information about filing an appeal at 541-774-6151.

In some areas of the county that were hard-hit by foreclosures, properties have seen double-digit increases in real market value year over year.

An average 14-percent jump in real market value has been seen in Eagle Point, Shady Cove and Phoenix, Gibson said.

Upper-end houses and condominiums have continued to see decreases, pushing down values in some neighborhoods.

The Saddle Ridge development in east Medford is down 15 percent from year to year because of foreclosures, Gibson said.

However, the old east Medford neighborhoods close to Main Street and Crater Lake Avenue are up by 20 percent.

Most of the rest of Medford, including west Medford, is up 7 to 8 percent, Gibson said.

Condominiums, down in most areas of the county, have risen in value in Jacksonville and Ashland.

In Ashland, house prices have climbed on average by about 7 percent, though upper-end houses have seen little increase, while moderately priced homes have jumped by 15 percent.

Increased property values and more construction will translate into more revenue for cities, schools and fire districts.

Jackson County will receive $1 million more than 2012 in additional taxes, bringing the total to more than $33 million.

Medford schools will get an extra $1 million as a result of the tax increases.

The city of Medford will receive $1 million more in revenue.

Ashland schools will get $400,000 more than last year in tax revenue. Also, Ashland has an athletic levy that will generate more than $300,000 over 2012.

Eagle Point and Central Point will each receive more than $300,000 in additional revenue.

Taxing districts in the county saw an overall increase of $8.8 million in new revenue this year over last.

Reach reporter Damian Mann at 541-776-4476 or dmann@mailtribune.com. Follow on Twitter at @reporterdm.

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