Oregon property taxes up

November 5, 2013 Comments off

Oregon property taxes up

Many Washington County property owners will see as much as 13% property tax increase. Some Portland homes will witness an 11% increase in their property taxes. Clackamas property owners will see an average of 3% increase.

Multnomah County homeowners will see a substantial increase in property taxes as a result of three ballot measures approved last November. Those measures were: the Portland School District’s $482 million school construction bond, the largest in Oregon’s history; the Multnomah County library district, which established a permanent taxing structure; Metro’s natural areas levy.Dollar amounts are as follows: $45 million to Portland Public Schools, $33 million to Multnomah County libraries, $3 million for maintenance and restoration of county parks and natural areas.

For Washington County tax increases are fueled by rising property value. Average Washington County home value rose 7%. This increase was despite a half decade of decline. Adding to the tax increase are two levies passed by voters, one for schools and the other for police. Read more…

Health Exchanges performing poorly — Oregon, California

October 23, 2013 Comments off

Nearly a month into Oregon’s Health Care Exchange and it is still not working and facing painful delays. The website’s failure is a gross disappointment despite the project’s spending over $82 million in taxpayer dollars. This is made even worse knowing the fact that Oregon was awarded the third largest federal grant to build the exchange. Determining eligibility seems to be the biggest problem for the process. To deal with the delay, Michael Cox of Cover Oregon, says you can still apply using low-tech traditional means. Cox states, “What you can do is submit a traditional application either through paper or electronic fillable PDF, and that’s really an application where we’re going to take and then manually determine your eligibility for plans.” Read more…

Oregon solar industry has bleak summer

August 23, 2013 Comments off

Taxpayer Foundation of Oregon

Three of Oregon’s solar companies are laying of hundreds of employees as 2013 marks a terrible year for the solar industry. The solar industry has been heavily supported by taxpayer funds through tax credits and other financing operations.

Salem’s Sanyo Solar announced the layoff of 52 workers, but will continue to employ about 150 people. In April, SoloPower notified the state it would lay off 29 workers and suspend its Portland operations in June. SoloPower plans to move its headquarters from California to Portland. Read more…

Oregon tops in Zombie Foreclosures

June 1, 2013 Comments off

By Oregon Tax News

With 52% of foreclosed homes in the state vacant, Oregon has the fourth highest rate of “zombie foreclosures” in the country. A “zombie foreclosure” is an unoccupied home in foreclosure, but not yet foreclosed. Half of the approximately 2300 Oregon homes in foreclosure, but not yet foreclosed, are vacant, and almost half of those have no forwarding address.

Vacant homes become eyesores through lack of maintenance, and often become home to squatters, or centers of criminal activity. When the owner cannot be contacted, it is difficult to evict trespassers, and the property cannot be cleaned up without spending public money. In the case of bank owned properties, navigating the bank’s bureaucracy to find a person to contact about the property’s condition can be impossible. Read more…

Homeownership lowest in 17 years

May 20, 2013 Comments off

By Oregon Tax News,

Reaching the lowest point in 17 years, homeownership dropped to a seasonally adjusted 65.2 percent in the first quarter as more people chose to rent instead of purchase a home. The rate of homeownership peaked at 69.4 percent in 2004, and has followed a downward trend since the collapse of the housing bubble.

The recession of 2007-2009 and anemic recovery, now in its fourth year, have not been beneficial for a rebound in homeownership. Unemployment is at 7.6 percent, with 21.6 million people either unemployed, working part-time while desiring full-time employment or wanting a job, but have given up looking. Read more…

What You Need to Know About the Internet Sales Tax

April 25, 2013 Comments off

By Oregon Tax News,

What You Need to Know About the Internet Sales Tax

This week the Senate passed the so-called Marketplace Fairness Act by a vote of 69 to 27.  Here are some important things to know about the bill.

1. Allows states to capture $11 billion in taxable income. it allows the 45 states that currently charge sales tax (and the District of Columbia) to require online retailers to collect sales on their resident’s purchases. The law would apply to all online sellers with sales of over $1 million outside of states where they have a physical presence.In 1992 the Supreme Court ruled in Quill Corp. v. North Dakota that businesses that do not have a physical presence in a state are not required to collect sales taxes from their customers in that state. At the time there were no internet retailers, so it affected only catalog sales. The States claim this now costs them $11 Billion a year. Read more…

Senate eyes internet tax

April 10, 2013 Comments off

By Oregon Tax News,

A bill proposed by three prominent U.S. senators would give states broad new taxing power over online retailers located outside their boundaries. The Marketplace Fairness Act was proposed in February by Senators Mike Enzi (R-WY), Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and could make shopping online more expensive and complicate business for online retailers. States would be given authority to “compel” businesses to collect taxes for online purchases made from state residents, regardless of where the participating businesses are physically located—a move that critics say violates a 1992 Supreme Court ruling denying states such authority. Read more…

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