Parks, sewer, college raise taxes

October 29, 2005

Property taxes increased between 13 and 15 percent this year throughout Hood River County – but are up by 30 percent in Odell.

Sandra Berry, director of the county Records and Assessment Department, said the higher rate in Odell is due to the Odell Sanitation District bond levy passed last year for system improvements.

Citizens of the unincorporated community are paying an additional $1.79 per $1,000 of assessed property valuation.

She said two other levies approved by voters in 2004 have also raised taxation rates throughout the county. The Hood River County School District local option levy is costing property owners $1 more per $1,000 of assessed valuation. And the Columbia Gorge Community College construction bond levy brings an additional 5 cent charge to each $1,000 of property value.

In addition, Berry said taxpayers are still absorbing the cost of the bond for the new Hood River County Library at 21 cents per $1,000. In addition, payments are being made for a school construction bond at $2.11 per $1,000. Another 15 cents is charged for the county Parks and Recreation District levy.

Berry said some of the tax statements, sent Oct. 20, have been returned due to changes in mailing addresses. She asks that all property owners keep information updated so that her staffers are not forced to search for a place to send the annual bill. Property taxes paid in full by Nov. 15 receive a three percent discount.

Residents paying two-thirds of their taxes by that date will receive a two-percent discount. All taxes for 2005 must be paid by May of next year to avoid an interest penalty.

Berry said people wanting to dispute their new assessment, which includes a standard three percent annual increase, may do so until Jan. 3, 2006. She said appeals are brought before a special review board if the issue cannot first be worked out by her office.

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