As far as Mark Noakes can tell, the slide in Linn County property values has slowed and may even have leveled out.
The Linn County assessor and tax collector, in his last few months in office before retiring at the end of the year, spoke with the Democrat-Herald in an informal interview Monday.
He estimates that in general the property value of “existing dwellings” — as opposed to newly constructed ones — is down 2-5 percent.
That’s compared to a slide of between 6 and 12 percent last year.
The value of property for tax purposes for tax bills this fall is calculated as of last Jan. 1.
“It’s not as severe as last year,” Noakes said of the value drop among residential properties. “I feel like it’s leveling out.”
The assessor’s office is working toward getting tax rates calculated and posted by mid-September or early October.
Whether taxing districts will get less revenue is still unknown, according to the assessor. He said he’s still getting information about state-assessed industrial properties where the addition of a single $2-3 million piece of equipment can make a big difference in the tax amount.
Under the state constitution, which reduced the taxable value of all property in 1997, the tax value can rise 3 percent a year until it equals the market value. In cases where the market value still exceeds the tax value, homeowners may see their tax bills increase even though their home’s market value went down.
In Lebanon, though, Noakes said, tax bills should go down because the city decided no longer to levy a $1.57-per-thousand special urban renewal tax levy.
The city of Lebanon also reduced its urban renewal tax increment, which won’t affect individual tax bills but will yield more revenue to other taxing units including Linn County.
A comparable early look at the property tax outlook for Benton County could not be obtained Monday but will be reported as soon as it’s available.