Increased values push up tax bills

(Due to an error, incorrect total amounts for Vale, Nyssa and Ontario were published in the print edition of Oct. 25. The attached amounts have been corrected.)


Top Property Taxpayers in Malheur County


Assessed Value

  1. Kraft Heinz Food Company (17 parcels) $121,906,144
  2. Idaho Power (72 parcels) $124,759,156
  3. US Geothermal (1 parcel) $108,812,000
  4. CCP Oregon Fund LLC (4 parcels) $97,700,000       (Solar company)
  5. Fry Foods, Inc. (4 parcels) $21,505,285

By John L. Braese

The Enterprise

VALE – County property owners need to check their mailboxes as property tax notices started mailing out last Friday.

Owners have until Nov. 15 to pay at least one-third of the taxes due.

As taxpayers write out the checks, 26 government agencies will get a share.

Looking at the notices going out, the assessed value of property across the county has increased $212 million, according to David Ingram, Malheur County assessor. Total assessed value in the county for this year is $2.3 billion.

“The largest increase in value came from the rural Vale area, the land located outside the city limits,” Ingram said. “The other increase came in public utilities, up $104 million. The new solar farms fall under the public utilities category and that makes up the majority of the increase with those coming on line.”

Other types of property such as homes and farmland increased in assessed value, meaning higher taxes for owners.

“On commercial property around the county, we are about the same as last year with maybe a slight increase in the Ontario area,” said Ingram. “Residential property is up across the county and it looks like farmland is up some.”

Ingram and his staff mailed out paperwork on approximately 23,000 tax accounts.

Ingram said he saw increases in the number of improved properties and in machines and equipment used by industry.
Taxpayers seeing the largest increase in their bills will be those located in the Vale School District due to the passage of the recent bond, according to Ingram.

Although Ingram has staff out looking at properties and assessing values, some things are beyond the county’s control.

“We don’t receive any revenue from federal lands like land managed under the Bureau of Land Management,” he said. “The other area we have little control is public utilities. The state sets the value and sends it to us. We don’t have a say on the value.”

Ingram and his assessors drive the county, looking at properties and making decisions based on a look. Ingram said his office does leave a hanger on the door, but rarely hears from property owners until tax notices show up in the mailbox.

“If people disagree, we want people to call us and discuss it,” he said. “Taking a look from the outside of a house, we may determine a basement is finished when in fact, it is unfinished. We are more than happy to sit down with an owner and explain how we came up with a number. We can review the property again and if it needs to be changed, we will do that.”

Have a news tip? Contact reporter John L. Braese at [email protected] or call