Property Tax Appeal Process

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Information: Board of Property Tax Appeals

If you have decided to appeal your property value to the Board of Property Tax Appeals, this information will explain the appeal process. It tells you how to prepare for your hearing, what to expect at the hearing and what follows the hearing. Please take time to read this carefully and keep it until your case has been concluded.

Timelines

For the current tax year, your petition must be postmarked or delivered by December 31.  If December 31 falls on a Saturday, Sunday or legal holiday, the filing deadline moves to the next business day.

The U.S. Postal Service postmark will govern timeliness of filing. A postage meter imprint is not considered a postmark. The Post Office urges you to mail early in the day.

The Board of Property Tax Appeals can only consider petitions for the current tax year value.

Hearings may be scheduled between the first Monday in February through April 15. Multnomah County has two boards which hear appeals. A typical hearing is limited to a total of 10 minutes.

A written board order will be mailed to you or your representative within 8 to 10 business days.

Where to get petitions

You may obtain petition forms from the following location:

Board of Property Tax Appeals
501 SE Hawthorne Blvd, Suite 175
Portland, OR 97214

Or call 503-988-3326

Or email request form to BOPTA@multco.us

Duplicated copies of petitions are acceptable, but you must submit a separate completed petition for each account number.

Submit your appeal: 

By Mail:
Board of Property Tax Appeals
PO Box 5007
Portland, OR 97208-5007

In Person:
Board of Property Tax Appeals
501 SE Hawthorne Blvd #175
Portland, OR  97214

Or By Email:
BOPTA@multco.us

*Please only submit once*

Appeal rights

You can appeal the real market value, specially assessed value or assessed value of your property. The Board of Property Tax Appeals can only hear appeals of the current tax year values. The Board does not have authority to consider appeals for any other tax years.

If you are appealing principal or secondary industrial property (including personal property) that is appraised by the Department of Revenue, you must file your appeal directly with the Tax Court.

Personal Property

It is taxable in Oregon if equipment is currently being used or being held for use in a business. Learn more about personal property at the Oregon Department of Revenue.

Floating property (houseboats, boathouses or combos) is also taxable as personal property.

Learn more about manufactured structures at the Oregon Department of Revenue site.

Personal property exceptions include the addition of leased property, increased non-inventory supplies, and the acquisition of any other taxable personal property less the value of items disposed of during the same year. The exception amount is calculated by subtracting last year's real market value from the current year's real market value.

Value definitions

The following information is provided to help you understand how your property was assessed. Please read this information carefully.

  • Real Market Value (RMV) is the value the assessor has estimated your property would sell for on the open market as of the assessment date. The assessment date for all Real and Personal Property is January 1st.
  • Maximum Assessed Value (MAV) is defined in Measure 50, which was passed by Oregon voters in May, 1997. Maximum assessed value was established for the 1997-98 tax year as the 1995 real market value of the property minus 10 percent. For the years after 1997-98, MAV is the greater of 103% of the prior year's assessed value, or 100 percent of the prior year's MAV, which ever is greater. MAV can be increased above 3 percent of the prior year's assessed value if certain things defined as exceptions are made to your property. Maximum assessed value does not appear on your tax statement.
  • Exception means a change to property, not including general on-going maintenance and repair, that increases your property's value by more than $10,000 in one year or by more than $25,000 over five assessment years. Changes that could affect maximum assessed value include new construction or additions, major remodeling or reconstruction, rezoning along with a change of use, a subdivision, or a disqualification from special assessment or exemption.
  • Personal property exceptions include the addition of leased property, increased non-inventory supplies, and the acquisition of any other taxable personal property less the value of items disposed of during the same year. The exception amount is calculated by subtracting last year's real market value from the current year's real market value.
  • Assessed Value (AV) is the value used to calculate your tax. It is the lower of real market value or maximum assessed value.  You may appeal the assessed value of your property if you believe the assessor made an error in the calculation. The total assessed value is shown on your property tax statement.
  • Specially Assessed Value (SAV) is a value established by statute. The legislature has established several programs that create value levels below market value for certain types of property. Each program has specific applications and use requirements. Examples of types of property that may qualify for special assessment are farm land, historic property, and property which qualifies as "open space".
  • If Real Market Value exceeds Market Value: You may wish to appeal the real market value of your property if you believe the value exceeds the amount the property would have sold for on the open market as of the assessment date. N ote: A reduction in the real market value will usually not change your tax bill unless the real market value is less than the maximum assessed value.
  • If Exception Value exceeds Market Value: If you believe the real market value of an exception is higher than its actual market value, you may appeal the portion of the real market value which applies to the exception. Exception values are not shown separately on your tax statement. You will need to obtain the exception value from your county assessor and use it to complete the appeal form.

You are encouraged to contact your county assessor, who can help you understand how your property value was determined.

The Board

The function of the Board of Property Tax Appeals is to hear petitions for reductions in real market value, specially assessed and assessed value. Board members are not part of the Assessor's Office. They play no role in setting the assessed value. They are private citizens who are appointed by the Board of County Commissioners. They are not professional appraisers, but have training, experience and knowledge in property valuation. The Board may be thought of as a panel which decides the value of your property based on the evidence you present.

By State law, the Board will:

Consider evidence relating to the reduction of real market value, specially assessed and assessed value.

By State law, the Board cannot:

  • Consider hardship as a factor in establishing value
  • Set the amount of tax you owe
  • Consider a sharp increase in value in a single year to be a valid reason for appeal;
  • Regard lack of normal property maintenance as a reason for appeal (however, severely deferred maintenance and structural problems are considered);
  • Consider testimony on tax rates or the fairness of the tax system.

Evidence

Generally, to be successful in your appeal, you must provide evidence of the market value of your property on January 1 of the assessment year. This is the day the assessor uses to establish the real market value of your property.

Listed below are the types of evidence you could use to convince the board that your property's real market value should be reduced.

  • Documentation of an arm's-length sale of the property that occurred close to January 1 of the assessment year.
  • A fee appraisal dated close to January 1 of the assessment year which reflects the property's value.
  • Proof that the property has been listed for sale on the open market for a reasonable period of time at a price below the real market value on the tax roll.
  • A comparison of properties similar to yours in location, size and quality that have sold close to January 1 of the assessment year. If there are differences between properties, the differences must be accounted for in the comparison of values.
  • Cost of new construction that occurred close to January 1 of the assessment year and was performed by a professional contractor.
  • Cost to repair your property. You must provide written estimates of the cost of the repairs.
  • For commercial property, documentation of income and expense information or a comparable sales analysis.

A strong case requires careful preparation. Whatever you provide as evidence becomes a permanent part of your file. It cannot be returned to you. This means that before coming to your scheduled hearing, you must photocopy all documents, including photographs, that you wish to leave with the Board.  An example Comparable Sales Grid for residential properties is available here.

The only evidence the Board can consider is what you provide with this appeal. Evidence submitted in prior appeals is not usable by the current Board. You may send your evidence with your petition, or bring it at the time of the hearing. All evidence, including any display, should fit in an 8-1/2 x 14 inch size file folder.

It is the petitioner's responsibility to prove their value is too high.

Characteristics cards - While at the Assessor's Office you may also want to look up the characteristics cards of your property and of comparable properties. This is a sheet listing details of the property and giving the assessed value of the land and building(s) for the last three years. Characteristics included in addition to the size, age and class of construction are a listing of the various rooms, type of heat, garage, fireplace, patio, etc.

This information can be printed for $2.00. If you notice errors on the characteristics card for your property, you should speak to the Appraiser on duty via in office visit or call 503-988-3326.

The Hearing

State law requires that notices be mailed at least five days prior to the hearing. Nearby parking is available. Citizens with disabilities should call the office at 503-988-3326 to obtain special assistance.

  • If you know in advance that you will be unable to attend on given day(s) and have listed those times on your petition, every attempt will be made to accommodate your schedule. Hearings cannot be rescheduled. 
  • If, after your hearing is scheduled, you find you cannot attend, you may send a qualified representative. You can fill out the Authorization to Represent form if you want to someone else to appear at that hearing on your behalf. 
  • State law requires that hearings must be held between the first Monday in February and April 15. Multnomah County has two panels which hear appeals. A typical residential hearing is limited to a total of 10 minutes.
  • Within those 10 minutes, you will introduce yourself and identify your property. The Board Chair will announce the current value and your requested value, and will confirm the size, location and type of property under appeal. 
  • The Chair may ask for clarification of anything on your petition which may be unclear. You will then be asked to make a statement supporting your requested value. 
  • Describe each piece of evidence you present. There may be questions by Board members either at the end of your statement, or perhaps for clarification as you make your presentation. 
  • You must make your statement, present your evidence, and allow for questions within the 10 minute period. The process is informal. You should expect to be treated with courtesy. The Chair must, however, adhere to the time schedule and you will be asked to cooperate in this regard.

The decision process

To insure that all appellants are heard at the scheduled time, the Board hears all the day's testimony before making any decisions. The decision-making process is typically deferred to between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m.

You do not have to be present but are welcome to observe the process. The time needed to make a decision varies considerably from case to case, making it impossible for the Board to schedule the decision on your appeal. If you are present, the Board will try to minimize the wait to hear your decision. At the decision time, you will be unable to comment or offer any further testimony. The Board's decisions are not available by telephone. 

After the decision

A formal Board order will be mailed to you about 7 to 10 days after the hearing.
 

Appeal Forms

Petition Forms