Assessor FAQ

Each year the Sherman County Assessor’s Office is required to conduct a ratio study to establish real market value on all properties within the county. If the sales analysis shows an increase in sales prices for manufactured structures, then it is likely the real market value for manufactured structures will increase. If the analysis shows that there was a decrease in sales prices for manufactured structures then the real market value for manufactured structures are likely to decrease.


A manufactured home is considered personal property. If you own the manufactured structure and the land that it sits on your home can be recorded in the county deed records as real property which means it is “exempted” from the ownership document and is no longer personal property.

If you were still in business on the assessment date, January 1, you will need to file a return and indicate on your asset listing the equipment that was still in use at your business on January 1.

If you went out of business prior to January 1, you will use your return to report to the Assessor’s office the disposition of your business Personal Property. The section “No Personal Property to Report” on the front of the return is designed for that purpose. Check the box “Business closed” and provide the date closed.  Let us know the status of the property on January 1, whether it has been sold, stored or converted to personal use.

If you sold your business prior to January 1, please file a return to notify our office of the change in ownership. Check the box “Business sold” and indicate the date sold and provide the name and mailing address of the new owner, along with your instructions as to whether or not we have your permission to forward the current asset list to the new owner.

Taxes on Business 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:

  • Issue a warrant for the collection of delinquent Business Personal Property taxes
  • Seize and sell the assessed Business Personal Property or taxable Business Personal Property you own or control
  • Charge the tax against the real property you own.

Important notice when buying a business

Delinquent taxes become a lien on the Business Personal Property of a business. If you are starting a business you should notify the County Assessor. This will allow an account to be established, and a Business Personal Property return can be sent out the following year.

Personal Property is subject to the same levy rate as Real Property. The Assessor depreciates the value of your Personal Property each year based on the list of equipment you have provided, which includes cost new and the original purchase date of each individual item. All of our depreciation schedules are based on guidelines set forth by the Oregon Department of Revenue.

Most people know that property tax applies to real property, such as land and buildings. However, some may not know that property tax also applies to Business Personal Property. The characteristic that distinguishes Business Personal Property from real property is mobility. Business Personal Property is property that is not affixed to, or part of, real estate. Business Personal Property may include but is not limited to furniture, fixtures, machinery, equipment, office equipment, etc.

For assessment and taxation purposes, when we speak of Personal Property we are effectively referring to Business Personal Property under current Oregon law. Taxable Business Personal Property includes machinery, equipment, furniture, etc. used by a business, including any property not currently being used, placed in storage, or held for sale. However, Business Personal Property taxes are not applicable to business inventories or intangible property such as copyrights and trademarks.

Business Personal Property is subject to the same levy rate as real property. By state law, the county assessor is responsible for the assessment of all taxable Business Personal Property. The Department of Revenue is also involved in the administration of property taxes and advises assessors on how to assess property to assure uniformity of assessment and taxation throughout the state.

The “improvements” listed on a tax statement refer to structures located on the property, dwellings, garages, shed, etc. It is not an indication that you have made any changes or “improvements” to your property.

Appraisers might visit your property to

  • Verify the terms and conditions of a recent sale
  • Verify and/ or update the property characteristics and condition
  • Appraise new construction
  • Appraise remodels and additions
  • Appraise property for removal of exemptions or adjudications from prior appeals

This is not an all- inclusive list. Appraisers may visit property for other reasons.

The Assessment date is January 1 of each year; the values that are on the tax statement you receive in October are a “snapshot” in time as of January 1.

Example: you receive your tax statement in October of 2018 the effective date of valuation is January 1st, 2018

Responding to this type of letter is perhaps the most important way a property buyer or seller can help assist in the accuracy of Sherman County tax assessments. The Sherman County Assessor is required by law to value all property at real market value (ORS 308.232). This is defined as what it would sell for in cash terms paid by an informed buyer to and informed seller, each acting without compulsion in an arm’s length transaction (ORS 308.205). Accurate evidence from real estate transactions is vital to this process.

We do not use the information you proved to directly revalue your property. Instead, we use it to develop and refine a model for predicting sales prices of all properties of the same type (i.e., homes, manufactured and mobile homes, land as applicable) in Sherman County. This helps us to value properties consistently, and in keeping with the market changes. In Oregon, the sale of property does not automatically trigger reassessment as in some other states.

Several of the questions asked on these letters are to determine whether your transaction was reflective of “market” value and, therefore, useful for our studies. Other questions help us make adjustments for special circumstances. For example, selling prices sometimes include more than just eh land and buildings, such as furniture or vehicles. We seek to determine what was paid only for those items that are taxable.

Thank you for assisting the Sherman County Assessor in this endeavor.

This is a common misperception. Actually, Measure 50 only limits Maximum Assessed Value (MAV) increases to 3% per year for unchanged property. It does not limit either Assessed Value (AV) or tax rates.

Taxes may increase more than 3% due to:

  • Changes in the tax rate for your Levy Code Area, such as when a new bond measure is passed.
  • If the AV of your property was based on the RMV during the prior tax year, and the RMV increases more than 3%. AV is the lower of your RMV or MAV.
  • Loss of “compression” savings if the tax calculation based on your AV and tax rate no longer exceeds the Measure 5 limits.
  • If your property experienced one or more “exception” events during the year prior to the valuation date (the valuation date is the January 1 preceding when you received your tax statement). Exceptions, as provided by Measure 50, include partition or subdivision, change of use following a rezoning, new construction or additions, remodeling or rehabilitation that changes the character of the property, discovery of omitted property, and disqualification from exemption or special assessment.

How does the Oregon Tax System work: Measure 5, Measure 50: What does it mean?

Where do your property taxes go?

Oregon Business Personal Property Tax

Board of Property Tax Appeals

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