Measure 50: Oregon's Property Tax System

Voters approved Ballot Measure 50 in May 1997, which decreased many tax bills and made future taxes more predictable for individuals. It also preserved the key provisions of Measure 47, the initiative passed by voters in November 1996. The legislation to implement Measure 50 became law on July 14, 1997, known as Senate Bill 1215.

The rate limits created by Measure 50 replace Oregon’s traditional levy system, which used the real market value (RMV) to assess individual properties. Under Measure 50, the assessed value (AV) of your home may be less than its real market value and taxes will be limited by the 3% value growth cap. How Measure 50 affects your tax bill each year is determined by whether you've made major changes to your property since 1995.

The assessment date for the tax year is January 1. The tax year for all property is July 1 through June 30. Personal and real property taxes are a lien from July 1.

How Does It Work?

  • Limits future taxable value increases. Your property value will not increase by more than 3% annually unless you have a specific exception.
  • Establishes permanent tax rate limits. Measure 50 established permanent tax rate limits for Oregon's local taxing districts.
  • Allows local option levies. Voters can approve new short-term local option levies outside their permanent rate limit.
  • Retains Measure 5 limits. The 1990 tax limitation (Measure 5) remains intact. Tax rates cannot exceed $15 per $1,000 of real market value for operating revenues. Voter approved bonds are outside the tax rate limit of $15 per $1,000 valuation.

Ballot Measure 50 cut each tax district’s 1997 levy. The cuts did not affect levies for bonded debt. Once levies were cut, each tax district was given a rate that replaced its old levies. This rate is a permanent limit on the districts taxing authority for operating taxes.

The "Cap:" Maximum Assessed Value

The first year under Measure 50, the assessed value on your property was reduced to its 1995 value less 10%. "Exceptions" were made if a property had a change such as a new addition. In future years, your assessed value will not increase by more than 3% unless your property has an exception or through local option elections. This system will provide more predictability for individual taxpayers.

Local Elections and the Double Majority

Your property taxes can still be increased through local option elections. Approval requires that a majority of voters participate and a majority of those vote “yes.” This double majority requirement does not apply during general elections in November of even numbered years. Bond elections for things such as new schools, fire truck, or land purchase also fall under this requirement. Schools cannot utilize local option elections for operating costs.


Only certain "exceptions" can cause your assessed value to increase more than 3% annually. Those include new improvements, subdivisions, rezoning, disqualification from special assessments and exemptions, and omitted property. Minor construction and ongoing maintenance and repair are not added to a property’s assessed value.

Assessing New or Changed Property

New property, including new construction and new lots, will be appraised at the same level as existing property. Assessed value will be established by multiplying real market value times a percentage calculated each year.

Your Appeal Rights

Appealing Your Property Value

If you disagree with a value as shown on the front of your tax statement, you may file an appeal with the Clatsop County Board of Property Tax Appeals. You can get petition forms and information from the Clatsop County Clerk’s office or by calling  (503) 325-8511.

You are asking for a reduction of the value of your real or personal property that appears on this tax statement.  You must file your petition on or before the date printed on the back of your tax statement.

Appealing Penalties

If your disagree with a penalty assessed to you for late filing of your real or personal property return, you may ask the board of property tax appeals to dismiss the penalty. You can get petition forms and information from the Clatsop County Clerk’s Office or by calling (503) 325-8511.

You are asking to have your late filing penalty dismissed.  You must file your petition on or before the date printed on the back of your tax statement.

If You Move or Sell

If you have moved or made any ownership changes, please notify us by telephone or in writing. By law it is the property owner’s responsibility to inform us of any address changes. Late, misdirected payments lose discounts and accrue interest.

When To Pay Your Taxes

Individual tax statements for less than $40 must be paid in full (ORS 311.505).
All payments should be made to the name and address shown in the area "Please Make Payment To" on the front of your tax statement. Please send only a check or money order. Do not mail cash. Your canceled check is your receipt.

Payments for property taxes must be credited to the earliest year for which taxes are due on the property for which payments are being made. This could affect your property tax discount (ors 311.356(2)). A returned check may result in the loss of the discount.

Property taxes may be paid in installments. Discounts are available, depending on the schedule used. The discounts and payment amounts for the current year, with the discount already subtracted, are on the front of your tax statement. If you owe taxes, fees or interest for a previous year, any payment you make will be applied to those amounts first. This could affect your property tax discount (ORS 311.356 (2)).

Payments mailed must be postmarked or transmitted on or before the date shown on the front of the tax statement to be eligible for discount. U.S. Postal Service postmark or private express carrier transmittal date will be considered the date received.

November 15, February 15 and May 15 are scheduled payment dates. To avoid interest charges and receive applicable discounts, follow the payment schedule shown on the front of your tax statement.

The total personal property tax becomes due and is delinquent when any installment is not paid by its due date. Personal property is subject to summary seizure and the responsible taxpayer is subject to warrant service 30 days after the delinquency date.

Real property taxes become delinquent if not paid by May 15. Foreclosure proceedings will begin on real property after three years from the date taxes become delinquent.