Property values drop 10 percent in Oroville area

OROVILLE – The recent reassessment of the Oroville area showed a 10 percent overall drop in property values, according to Okanogan County Auditor Scott Furman.

The auditor said this was the county’s second year of the annual reevaluation process and part of his office’s move from four-year to annual reevaluations. The lower valuations are part of an across the board market value adjustment, according to the auditor. However, they do not include open space, which is based on a state formula, he said.

“Some areas have gone up and some down, Oroville’s last four-year assessment was right in the heart of the market bubble from 2007 to 2009 when values were going up,” Furman said. “The new valuation is based on recorded sales in 2010 and the valuation within the Oroville School District is 10 percent lower. Some of the recent sales were below the current assessed value. Our goal is to be as close to market value as we can.”

The new valuations affect taxes paid in 2012 and will be mailed out on May 27, 2011, he said.

Furman explained that although overall evaluation is down 10 percent within the school district, that full amount will not be reflected on the new tax bills.

“It’s not a one-to-one savings, it is budget-based. It doesn’t mean a 10 percent decrease in the property taxes required to be collected, it might mean 5 percent less because some taxes are specific to the Oroville area.”

Furman said things like the voter-approved school levy fall into this category. The full amount approved for the levy will still need to be collected from the property owners within the Oroville School District. However, the Oroville area taxpayer’s share of county-wide obligations might be slightly less with some of the burden being shifted to taxpayers in other areas of the county.

“Omak, Okanogan and Tonasket had been evaluated before the bubble and will not see their evaluation going down. We are also lowering the Methow because they were also done right in the middle of the sweet spot,” Furman said.

The new evaluations will be sent out on 3×5 cards which Furman said will save the county 12 cents on every notice sent out. The notices will show the old and the new taxable value, he said.

“People have the right to appeal the valuation by July 1. If anyone has a question we encourage them to call and talk to their appraiser at (509) 422-7190,” he said.