Tax bite smaller for 13,000 in Jackson County

Taxes have dropped on almost 13,000 properties in Jackson County this year as the recession's grip tightens.

However, taxes rose for most of the 99,246 properties that receive tax statements in Jackson County, just at a lower level than in recent memory.

"It's the lowest I have ever seen," said county Assessor Dan Ross.

The Assessor's Office sent out property tax statements over the past week that confirm what most county residents already know: that real estate has taken a hit in the economic downturn.

The real market value, an estimate of the price an owner might be able to sell property for, declined 14 percent overall compared to last year.

All property taxes posted a 1.68 percent increase over last year, bringing in $237 million that is distributed to various taxing agencies.

In 2009 the tax increase was 3.7 percent, and in 2008 it was 10.7 percent, fueled in part by school bond measures.

Ross said other counties have seen declines in property taxes collected. Crook County, for example, dropped 5 percent.

More declines in property values are predicted and could have an impact on next year's tax statements, Ross said.

— Damian Mann

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