Oregon Governor Resets 2020 Wildfire Property Tax Rebuilds

Residents who lost their homes in the 2020 wildfires must apply to their County Commissioners to qualify for a tax reset that has been approved by Oregon Governor, Tina Kotek.


Some Property Tax Bills Tripled the Value of Homes

Thousands of Oregonians had a shock when they received their new property tax bills after rebuilding their homes lost in the wildfires. The bills reflected taxation based on the new value of the rebuilds which, in some cases, were three times more than homeowners paid prior to the devastating 2020 event.

The new bill resets property tax rates to the 2020-2021 scale, provided rebuilt homes retain the same square footage as before the wildfires. Property owners who rebuilt larger homes will now be taxed at the old rate based on the original square footage of their properties, and at its value at the time of construction.

If owners place their properties on the market, the rebuilt homes will be assessed at market value at the time they are resold.

Commissioners in the eight Oregon counties affected by widespread damage must approve this decision to enable their constituents to benefit from the tax rebate.


The Value of Oregon Homes is Pegged at 3% Annually

In Oregon, the value of residential properties is pegged at no more than 3% annually. This excludes new constructions or existing properties that have undergone extensive upgrades. In many cases, homeowners are facing increases of thousands of dollars, and in many cases triple what they had previously paid.

The possibility of untenable increases in property tax bills spurred authorities into a plan of action which has resulted in the new bill approved during the latest legislative session and signed into power by the governor.

Related: Jackson County Citizens Affected By 2020 Wildfires Invited To Apply For Grant

Kevin Cameron, Marion County Commissioner, says the tax reset is part of an ongoing effort to assist residents who suffered personal and financial hardships following the wildfires. County lawmakers took action to remedy the situation by approving the new property tax reset.

Cameron said County Commissioners will have to approve the implementation of the new tax reset bill for their constituents to benefit from the tax rebates but was optimistic that they would all agree. The new bill affects eight Oregon counties and Cameron is optimistic that County Commissioners will work to qualify eligible property homeowners in their constituencies.

Only homeowners who occupy their premises permanently are eligible for the tax reset. Owners of second homes, like many of those around Detroit Lake, do not qualify for the rebate. Cameron said this move was decided to encourage residents who left after losing their homes in the fire to return permanently and to rebuild their homes to the area.

The 2020 wildfires consumed about 4,000 residential properties across the state. The most severe fire damage was wreaked in Jackson County and Santiam Canyon where hundreds of homes have been rebuilt.



The wildfires burned across more than one million acres, causing the death of nine people and destroying more than 5,000 buildings and homes.

Lightning started the 2020 wildfires and flames soon consumed all in its path, causing considerable damage in the counties of Tillamook, Marion, Linn, Lincoln, Lane, Klamath, Jackson, Douglas, and Clackamas. The fire in Echo Mountain destroyed 300 Lincoln County homes.

Sen. Frank Girod, Rep-Stayton, was the main instigator of Senate Bill 1545 which he began promoting to the legislature during the 2023 session.

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