Representative Deborah Boone E-Update


Representative Deborah Boone
D-Cannon Beach, District 32

Phone: 503-986-1432 900 Court St. NE, H-375 Salem Oregon 97301
Email: Website:

Having trouble viewing this email? View it as a Web page.

One of the issues I want to mention this week is the Oregon’s Senior Property Tax Deferral Program.  This program was created in l963 and is intended to help low income Oregonians remain in their homes by allowing them to defer property taxes. Seniors and disabled individuals who have qualifying incomes and meet other criteria are able to defer their county property taxes.   This is not a grant program, taxes are repaid, with interest, after the home sells or the property owner dies.   For decades this was a successful program, but when the economy worsened and more people signed up, there wasn’t enough state money to pay all the county property taxes owed by program participants. 

In order to keep the program solvent, the 2011 Legislature changed the qualification criteria which included stricter asset limits and income criteria, and disqualified homeowners with reverse mortgages or those who had not lived in their home for at least 5 years. This was of tremendous concern to low income people in House District 32 and Senator Betsy Johnson and I met with affected property owners and their advocates in Tillamook shortly before the 2013 Legislative session.  I’m happy to report  there will be changes to the program that will benefit our constituents.    Earlier this month, the Legislature approved, and the Governor signed House Bill 2489A which grandfathered about 1,500 low income seniors and disabled residents into the Senior Property Tax Deferral program who had been disqualified solely due to a reverse mortgage.

Keeping low-income seniors and disabled residents in their homes is in our state’s best economic interest, and while HB 2489A provided relief to many Oregonians, there are still about 3,000 participants who were disqualified from the program after the 2011 changes. I will be working with other lawmakers on other legislation this session that may allow an opportunity to allow additional homeowners back into the property tax deferral program. 

If you think this is a program that may help you, and you need more information, you can check with the County Assessor’s office, Northwest Senior and Disability Services or contact the Alliance for Vulnerable Homeowners.

Tuesday night, I’ll be in Forest Grove participating in the Ag and Farming Town Hall session with Representative Ben Unger, Hillsboro Farmers Market Manager Laura Conroy, and local farmer Dave Vanasche.   Our panel will have opening remarks, and then we’ll open the program for a dialog with attendees.   Discussion topics will include agriculture, farming, and the food industry.   The Ag and Farming Town Hall will be Tuesday at the Forest Grove City Library from 6:30 to 7:30pm.

Agriculture is a top economic sector in Oregon, and Washington County is at the heart of the state’s agricultural industry.  Oregon’s agricultural products are of such high quality, they are in demand throughout the country and around the world, and there is tremendous growth potential.    Locally, farmers’ markets continue to expand and grow in popularity with increasing number of consumers appreciating the ability to buy the highest quality of produce from local growers.
While Washington county agricultural land has tremendous food production value, due to the close proximity of the metro area, there are continual concerns about urban sprawl, and land needed for development.  

While I am currently not serving on the House Agriculture Committee this session, I served on that committee for many years, and fully support agricultural interests due to the importance of this industry in my district and for Oregon. I look forward to seeing you at the town hall, and hearing opinions on how best we can serve the needs of Agriculture and Oregonians in Salem.

If you have a concern or comment about a state agency, or pending legislation, you can also write, phone or email my office, or when you’re in Salem, stop by my office in the Capitol.  It is my privilege to represent you in the House of Representatives, and I look forward to hearing from you.