Utilities biggest taxpayers on Wallowa County rolls

Wallowa County Assessor Gay Fregulia (left) and Treasurer Ernestine Kilgore mail statements to local property owners.

Primarily because of the $2.4 million bond levy passed by the voters of the Enterprise school district and because of the formation of a new tax district, taxes in Wallowa County have gone up 6 percent this year. Not counting the Enterprise bond and the Wallowa Lake Rural Fire Protection District, taxes went up 2.9 percent.

The assessed value of the county as a whole has increased in the past year about 2 percent from $456,251,698 to $465,504,299, said county assessor Gay Fregulia. The highest assessed values in the county belong to two utilities: Idaho Power and the Hells Canyon Dam at $36 million, Pacific Corps and its wire miles and installations at $11 million.

County treasurer Ernestine Kilgore anticipates, according to past years, that some 92 percent of $6,412,842.10 of the tax bills sent out by last Thursday, Oct. 17, will be paid within the fiscal year. Others will be sent a delinquent statement on the 15th of May, 2003 with a fine. She said that a very small number of the remaining 8 percent are actually foreclosed on.

Persons and businesses receiving their tax statements may pay the entire amount by Nov. 15 and receive a 3 percent discount. If 2/3 of the full amount is paid by Nov.15 they will receive a 2 percent discount. If the 1/3 payments are not paid on time there will be a penalty. Many people pay in three installments by the Nov. 15, Feb. 15 and May 15 payment dates.

Taxpayers from Wallowa County saved $141,652 last year by paying their taxes early.

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