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2009-10 Tax Time Questions How can I get a copy of my tax statement? By mid-day, October 23rd, you may access the 2009-10 tax statements at: www.lanecounty.org/at . Names have purposely been omitted. Searches can be conducted with a property tax account number, a situs address, or the map and tax lot number (not a lot and block number). It is important to note that online tax statements reflect the information on an account as of the October tax certification date, and not payments or value corrections made after that date. If you have made a payment on your property tax account after the certification date, please contact the Assessor’s office at 541-682-4321 between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m. and between the hours of 1:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday for the correct amount owing. You may also contact our office via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org . Note: Prior year’s tax statements are also available by utilizing the dropdown arrow in the Tax Year field. Why can’t I get my tax statement earlier? We have a window of time, between September 25th and October 25th to calculate the taxes and verify the accuracy of our tax statements. By law, counties that have common districts have until September 25th (or the next working day, if the 25th falls on a weekend) to share values – which are needed to establish the tax rates. We share values with 6 other counties. By law, counties have 5 working days thereafter to change those, if necessary. The processes that are involved in calculating the taxes are complex and usually take 5 to 7 days to complete. Then files need to be prepared for the state printer. That again takes several days. The state printer then needs time to prepare the statements. Time is allowed at each step for review and auditing. I submitted a personal property filing, but didn't receive a tax statement. Why? Each individual, partnership, firm or corporation that has taxable personal property as of January 1 must file a listing of that property with the Assessor by March 1. Taxable personal property includes machinery, equipment, furniture, etc., currently or previously used in a business. If the total assessed value of all taxable personal property of any taxpayer is less than $15,000, the tax assessment will be cancelled and no tax statement will be sent. Why does my personal property tax statement include a late filing fee? Penalties are applied when the returns are filed late. A 5% penalty is applied for those received after March 1st, but by June 1st. A 25% penalty is applied for those received after June 1st, but by August 1st. A 50% penalty is applied for those received after August 1st. Why is my payment being sent to a Portland address? Since 2005, Lane County has utilized US Bank’s Lockbox Service to expedite the collection and processing of November property tax payments. Through this service, payments are deposited into the county’s checking account the same day as they are received. This process is much more efficient and allows the taxing districts faster access to their money. Over 50% of the November payments are processed by the Lockbox Service, freeing up staff to respond to customer inquiries faster. Exemption and Deferral Program Information: Applications for property tax exemptions and senior and disabled citizens’ deferrals are mailed in January. If you are a new applicant and wish to receive an application, please provide your property tax account number and which application is needed when contacting our office. Your application request will be added to a master mailing list for January. For general information on these programs, please visit our website at http://www.lanecounty.org/at_PropTaxMgmt/ExempDef.htm. The filing deadline for Property Tax Exemptions is April 1st unless there is a change (entering into a new lease, death of a veteran, acquiring property, etc.) that occurs between March 1st and June 30th when the claim can be filed within 30 days of the change. A newly certified disabled veteran can apply within six months of the federal government notification of the certified disability. The surviving spouse/domestic partner can apply anytime during the current tax year if the veteran was deceased in the previous tax year. Some exemptions have the ability to file by December 31st with a late filing fee of the greater of 1/10th of 1% of the Real Market Value for the current tax year or $200.00. The filing deadline for the Senior and Disabled Citizens deferral is April 15, 2010 . The qualifying income level is $38,500 or less total household income for the previous year. All properties that are in the Senior and Disabled Citizens deferral program will receive a tax statement. If the property taxes are fully deferred, there will be a remark on the tax statement to that effect. This is a value notice only and should not be paid. If the property taxes are only partially deferred, an instruction sheet will accompany the statement and the statement itself will include the amount that is to be paid. If you are currently in the Senior or Disabled Citizens deferral program and have questions, please visit the Oregon Department of Revenue website at www.oregon.gov/DOR/SCD or call 1-800-356-4222 x58348. **Be sure to enter the extension number after accessing the 800 number. Doing this will speed up the process of getting through the state’s computerized system.** If you are not in the program, but have questions about it, please call our office at (541) 682-4321. 2009 Legislative Changes to Veteran’s Exemption program (SB 96) Senate Bill 96 which passed in the 2009 Legislative session has amended certain qualifiers in the Veterans Property Tax Exemption program. If you were denied in previous years, you might now qualify for the 2010-11 tax year. If you think you meet the following requirements please contact our office at (541) 682-4321. A Veteran who is officially certified by the VA or private physician as having disabilities of 40% or more or the Surviving Spouse/Domestic Partner of a Veteran who served active duty with the Armed Forces; and Discharged or released from active duty under honorable conditions. Veteran is defined as a person who: Served more than 90 days before January 31, 1955, Served more than 178 days beginning after January 31, 1955, Served 178 days or less and was discharged because of a service-connected disability; or Served 178 days or less and has a disability rating from the VA; or Served at least one day in a combat zone; or Received a combat or campaign ribbon or an expeditionary medal; or Is receiving a nonservice-connected pension from the VA. What is Urban Renewal? Urban Renewal is a means for a city or county to clean up blight. Currently, Lane County has five Urban Renewal Agencies: Coburg, Springfield, Veneta, Eugene and Florence. (Eugene has two urban renewal plan areas – Downtown and Riverfront and Springfield also has two – Downtown and Glenwood.) How is Urban Renewal funded? An Urban Renewal Agency establishes a plan area and sets a frozen value, which is the property value of the plan area. Subsequent increases in the property value are referred to as ‘excess value’. The excess value is what the Urban Renewal district receives taxes on. In essence, it is a shifting of tax from other taxing districts in the plan area to Urban Renewal Agencies. Taxpayers in an Urban Renewal area can identify where money is being shifted from a taxing district to an Urban Renewal Agency by the abbreviation preceding the district name, as follows: “CC”: levy contributes to Coburg Urban Renewal “CE”: levy contributes to Eugene Urban Renewal "CF" levy contributes to Florence Urban Renewal “CG”: levy contributes to Springfield Urban Renewal (Glenwood Urban Renewal) “CS”: levy contributes to Springfield Urban Renewal (Glenwood and Downtown Urban Renewal) “CV”: levy contributes to Veneta Urban Renewal "U": unimpacted levy (does not contribute to Urban Renewal) What happens if I miss the November 16th deadline? All discounts will be lost and interest will start to accrue on the first third trimester amount at a rate of 1 1/3% per month. What/where is my map number? Located right above your name in the box in the top left portion of the tax statement. Your map number is comprised of 13 digits: Township, Range, Section, Quarter Section and Tax Lot. What/where is my account number? Located in the box in the top right corner of the tax statement. A seven digit account number beginning with “5” represents Personal Property. A seven digit account number beginning with “4” represents a Manufactured Structure that is taxed separately from a real property account. A seven digit account number beginning with “8” represents Utilities. Other accounts will basically represent Real Property. Why is my Manufactured Structure still on a separate tax bill even though I filed papers to make it Exempt from title (with Building Codes Division) and therefore considered to be real property? All documents recorded by May 15, 2009 were processed if the taxes on both the real property and manufactured structure were paid in full. What is an M S Park Community Relations Fee (formerly the Ombudsman Fee)? Created by the 1989 Oregon Legislature, the owner of a personal manufactured structure is assessed this fee annually through the property tax system. Funds are used primarily to provide mediation services to resolve disputes between tenants and landlords. If a manufactured structure is fully exempt from property taxes because it has a Veteran’s Exemption, the taxpayer will be charged the M S Park Community Relations Fee. The exemption does not include state fees. The annual fee is $6.00. Why is my Location Address shown as Address Unknown? Vacant lots may not have a situs address. Some vacant lots do have addresses. If a permit is issued or the planning department assigns an address for some other reason, we will up date the account with the situs address when provided even if the lot is vacant. There was a problem during our computer conversion, resulting in a loss of some addressing data. Please contact our office with the correct address at 541-682-4321 or e-mail us at email@example.com. What is the "Tax Gap or Local Option Tax?" Most taxing districts are allowed to ask for temporary taxing authority above the permanent rate limitation. (This type of authority is not available to education service districts.) This authority is known as "local option taxes." Local option taxes are limited to five years for operations and 10 years for capital construction purposes. A "double majority" of the voters is required to approve a local option tax. The 'gap' is the difference between what a property is paying in taxes and the total amount the property could be paying in a category (education, government) at the Measure 5 maximum. What changes may affect my taxes or value this year? Voters approved the following new 5-year local option levies: Siuslaw School District - $0.75/$1,000 - passed in May 2009 River Road Park and Rec - $0.47/$1,000 - passed in May 2009 Santa Clara Fire District - $0.60/$1,000 - passed in November 2008 In November 2008, voters also approved a new $35.9M bond to fix City of Eugene streets as well as off-street bicycle and pedistrian paths. ($6.7M levied in 2009) And the following levies were renewed in November 2008: Fern Ridge Library 5-year local option levy - $0.25/$1,000 Crow-Applegate-Lorane School District 5-year local option levy - $1.50/$1,000 Lane Community College 15-year bond - $83M ($6,075,000 levied in 2009) The following levies expired: Siuslaw Public Library Bond Willamalane Park and Rec Bond Mohawk Valley Rural Fire District Bond Siuslaw Rural Fire Protection District #1 changed their name to Siuslaw Valley Fire & Rescue. The Department of Forestry rates decreased from last year. The surcharge for improved lots is $47.50 (down from $71.47) and the per acre charges for both Eastern and Western Lane Fire Patrol Districts decreased slightly. What is Ballot Measure 50? When the voters passed Measure 50 in 1997, their primary focus was to reduce taxes 17% on a statewide basis by limiting value increases. To control taxes on individual property, values were reduced to the 1995 assessed value less 10% and compared to the 1995 real market value. The lesser value became the new Assessed Value for 1997 and Assessed Value increases were and are now capped at 3% per year. The previous year's Assessed Value is increased by 3%, compared to the previous year's Maximum Assessed Value and the higher of the two, added to any Exception Assessed Value for the current year, is compared to the Real Market Value. The lower of the two becomes the current year's Assessed Value. Why didn’t I receive my tax statement? Your ownership and/or mailing address changed after October 2, 2009. We continue to update our database with ownership changes and will send statements to new owners/new addresses through November 9, 2009. These secondary statements do not include as much detail as the original, but taxpayers can view the original statements online at www.lanecounty.org/at If ownership is wrong, please contact us at 541-682-4321. If the mailing address is wrong, by law, the change request must be in writing. You can use the Change of Address form or email the request to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please be sure to include your tax account number and the situs address of the property. If you haven’t received your statement, you can look it up on the Internet at www.lanecounty.org/at or call our office at 541-682-4321. **Reminder** If you are calling close to the November 16th payment due date, it is likely that the statement will not arrive in time. You do not need to wait for a tax statement in order to make your payment, just write your account number on your check and send it to our office. How can I file an appeal? Taxpayers can appeal their value through the Board of Property Tax Appeals (BoPTA) for the current year. The deadline to file is December 31, 2009. BoPTA forms will be made available on Lane County’s Web site: http://www.lanecounty.org/Appeals/default.htm. To contact BoPTA staff, taxpayers may call 541-682-4275 after the tax statements are sent out and leave their name, phone number and account number on voicemail. Staff will return the call within 24 hours. Other types of appeals (interest, previous years’ values, etc.) can be appealed through the Department of Revenue or the Magistrate Division of the Oregon Tax Court. Appropriate forms can be obtained from the Assessor’s office. Should I pay my property taxes by November 16th even though I intend to appeal the value by the appeal deadline (December 31, 2009)? Yes, follow the payment schedule to avoid interest charges and to receive the applicable discounts. Overpayments from value appeal reductions will be refunded with interest (12% per year). What are my payment options? Full payments result in a 3% discount. Two-thirds payment results in a 2% discount on the two-thirds paid. The final full trimester balance is due May 17, 2010. Trimester payment option is available (due dates are 11/16/2009, 2/16/2010 and 5/17/2010). No discount applies. Any overdue amounts will accrue interest on the 16th of each month until paid unless the 15th falls on a holiday or weekend, in which case interest accrues on the day following the due date. Can I pay with a credit card? Yes. The County now accepts Credit/Debit Cards or E-check payments via the Internet. You can pay your taxes with your VISA or MASTERCARD or E-Check from your computer. If paying with a Credit/Debit card you will be charged a convenience fee of 2.35% of the amount paid. This fee goes directly to US Bank for the use of this service. If paying with an E-Check, you will be charged a convenience fee of $3.00. This fee goes directly to US bank for the use of this service. To pay online go to http://www.lanecounty.org/AT/TaxPayOnline.htm . This option is only available through our website and not when making payments in person or through the mail. What can you tell me about the Junction City Water Control District? In the early 1970’s, voters approved a bond for flood control for a very wide area. At the time, there was widespread flooding and had actions not been taken, many places where homes are now, would be in flood zones. This bond was for about 48 years or so, and as of 2009, there are about 6 - 8 years remaining. Additional questions can be referred to the Junction City Water Control District at 998-3223. How do I know if my mortgage company will pay my taxes? Located on the left side in the middle of your property tax statement will be a notation that shows: "Mortgage Co:" and "Loan #". If the account does not have the correct mortgage company data, please contact the mortgage company and verify whether or not they are planning to pay and through whom. If a mortgage company is listed on your tax statement, it means your account number was included in the list of accounts sent to us in September by the mortgage company because they (the mortgage company) plan to pay the taxes for the upcoming tax year. Remember: Since we receive this list in September, a substantial amount of activity (refinancing, purchasing, selling of property and selling of loans between mortgage companies) occurs between then and in October when statements are mailed. There is no exact way to ensure our mortgage company data is 100% accurate at the time of certification. The Assessor's office does not verify with the mortgage company and/or taxing service whose account is going to be paid. How do I remove the name of a mortgage company from my account? The purpose of the mortgage company information on the accounts is ONLY to allow us to see which mortgage company or tax service has requested to pay on an account. Adding or removing the mortgage company or tax service name does not ensure a mortgage company will or will not pay on an account. How do I change the name on my tax statement? We can add the married name to a previous name upon request. Changes to names as a result of divorce, death, legal name changes, etc. can also be made upon request by telephone: 541-682-4321, e-mail: email@example.com or mail to Assessor's Office: 125 East 8th Avenue, Eugene OR 97401. General Information about Utility accounts: The Department of Revenue (DOR) centrally assesses utility accounts. The DOR assesses the property and relays to Lane County the value for each account in our county, by tax code area. In general, the properties that this applies to are: Railroad transportation; railroad switching and terminal; electric rail and trackless trolley transportation; private railcar transportation; air transportation; water transportation upon inland waters of the State of Oregon; air or railway express; communication; heating; gas; electricity; pipeline; and toll bridge. Personal Property Tax Collections Paying your tax Property tax statements are mailed to taxpayers in late October. You must pay at least one-third of your tax bill by November 15 to avoid interest charges. You receive a 3 percent discount if you pay the full amount due by November 15. If you pay two-thirds of the full amount by November 15, you receive a 2 percent discount. If you choose to pay in thirds, the second payment is due by February 15 and the third by May 15. Personal property taxes become a lien on July 1 against any and all of the assessed property as well as on personal property assessed in the same category. The taxes may become a lien against all personal property owned or in the possession of the person in whose name the property is assessed. The taxes are a debt due and owing from the owner of the personal property. Delinquent taxes Taxes on personal property become delinquent whenever any installment is not paid on or before the due date. The tax collector will send a notice of delinquency showing the total amount due, including interest when any tax payment is not made. If no payment is received, the tax collector may: (1) issue a warrant for the collection of the delinquent personal property taxes and serve it on you, (2) seize and sell the assessed personal property or taxable personal property you own or control, or (3) charge the tax against real property you own. 1. Warrants - When the taxes become delinquent and no payment is made in response to the delinquency notice, the tax collector must prepare, serve, and record a warrant. A copy is served on you either by certified mail, publication in a newspaper, or personal service. Immediately after the warrant is served, if the delinquent taxes, interest, penalties, and costs are not paid, the warrant is recorded with the county clerk. This has the effect of a judgment against you. The tax collector can garnishee your bank account or wages to satisfy that judgment. 2. Seizure and sale - The tax collector can seize and sell the assessed property owned or controlled by the person assessed. When the tax collector takes possession of the property, the owner or person having the property, and all security lien holders, are notified. The seized property is advertised for sale and the notice of time and place of the sale is posted in three public places in the county at least 10 days before the sale. If you do not pay before the time set for the sale, the tax collector will sell the property at public auction. The property will be sold to the highest bidder, as long as the bid is at least equal to the total of taxes, interest, penalties, and costs. If the highest bid is less than that, the title to the property passes to the county. Then the county may sell the items at a private sale for a price the county sets as reasonable. If more than one item has been seized, only enough items will be sold to recover the taxes, interest, and penalties. The money received from the sale is applied to your debt. Any unpaid tax remains a debt. You get any surplus over the amount of taxes, interest, and penalties. 3. Lien on real property - Recording a warrant causes a lien upon your real property. The tax collector may charge the delinquent personal property tax against a specific property you own. After three years' delinquency, the county can foreclose for delinquent taxes on real property. Transferring Ownership on an Manufactured Structure A manufactured structure treated as personal property must be registered and all ownership interests transferred through the Oregon Building Codes Division (BCD) as part of the Department of Consumer and Business Services. Lane County acts as registration agent for the Building Codes Division and as such handles title transfers on manufactured structures. Paperwork should be filed at Lane County th Assessment and Taxation, 125 E. 8 Ave., Eugene, OR, 97401, Monday through Friday 10:00 am to 12:00 pm and 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm. The following is information regarding the transferring of title but for more complete information please call 541-682-4321. The following forms are required to transfer title: Bill of Sale – Form 440-3925 Supplemental Information – Form 440-1066 Notice of Sale/Change of Ownership – Form 440-2952 All security interest holders must either release their interest or approve the sale in writing. There are 2 ways this can happen: -Sign the front of the original DMV Title or the back of the original ownership document; OR -Complete and sign the Manufactured Structure Security Interest Change Form 440-2948. Taxes must be paid in full (with cash, cashiers check, or money order). Online payments must clear Lane County’s bank account which could take 1-2 days. There is a $55 transfer fee payable in cash, cashier's check or money order and made out to Lane County Tax Collector. Note: Forms can be obtained online at http://www.bcd.oregon.gov/lois/forms.html or you may obtain them from Lane County Assessment & Taxation by calling 541-682-4321.
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