The Umatilla County Assessor’s Office reported this week that the assessed value of property within the Hermiston School District grew by 4.66 percent in 2018.
That figure is higher than the 2.75-percent growth rate the school district budgeted for bond repayment and operations. District officials say this will lead to an additional property tax rate reduction for residents within the district.
When the school district paid off its pre-2008 school bond debt in July, the school bond property tax rate was expected to decrease from $4.09 per $1,000 in assessed value to $3.65 per $1,000 in assessed value. The newly reported growth rate will lead to a property tax rate of less than $3.60 per $1,000 in assessed value.
The new rate will be reflected on property tax statements the Umatilla County Assessor’s Office sends out beginning this week.
“We budget from a conservative framework so we can be confident in the resources we expect to have,” said Katie Saul, business manager for the Hermiston School District. “It is in the district’s and community’s best interest that we are mindful of the delicate balance of budgeting and the potential ramifications of more aggressive budget assumptions.”
As the assessed value in a taxing district increases, each individual property owner pays a lower tax rate on bond debt because the cost is spread among more properties. Measure 30-130 was created to raise $82.7 million through the conservatively projected growth of the district and would maintain the property tax rate of less than $3.60 per $1,000 in assessed value if approved by voters in November.
“We’ve worked closely with the county assessor’s office and financial analysts Piper Jaffray to ensure Measure 30-130 won’t raise the school bond tax rate,” said Superintendent Tricia Mooney. “Hermiston’s growth means more students in our classrooms, but it also means a broader tax base.”