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.