Friday, October 31, 2008

Tree on Photowalk

Tree on Photowalk
Originally uploaded by Rachel Houghton
Here's a photo I took last week in Portland. I'm betting that tomorrow the leaves won't be quite as green...just in the past few days the leaves have started turning gorgeous brilliant red, orange, and yellow!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Well, that was productive...NOT!

Turns out, our friendly tax assessor deemed our house "not 100% complete" when he drove by on 1/1/07, so our house was "not 100% assessed in taxes."

That's governmentese for "you got a break last year on paying your taxes lady, and be lucky we can't retroactively go back and get more money from you!"

This year, on 1/1/08, the assessor deemed our house 100% complete, so we were "fully assessed" - which resulted in a 45% (or so) raise in our MAV (maximum assessed value). How did they work that magic? :) See, Oregon has a law that property taxes can only raise 3% per year - but there are "Property Event Exceptions" (read: loopholes) that allow counties to do stuff like what they did to us.

If it is any consolation, from this year on we'll only see 3% per year. Unfortunately, now our mortgage payment will change (read: go up).

Sigh. Can't win - and I feel extremely lucky that there is no legal way they can get what they consider "back taxes" for the year they assessed as not complete.

Monday, October 27, 2008

I'm calling the county assessor's office this morning.

We received our property tax statement (a courtesy copy actually, since our mortgage company pays the property taxes) and about fainted!

I won't go into numbers, but this is what happened:

Land Value: value went down about 7-8%
Structure: value went up approximately 65% from previous year
Total RMV Value: went up approximately 30% from previous year

Assessed Value: went up approximately 45% from previous year

THEREFORE: Our taxes went up $1,000 from last year. Yes, you heard right. *thud*

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Older Building #2 Pearl District

Another picture from the Pearl District. This is the top of the Chown Pella building. Amazing how cool it looks with a little post processing.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Roloff Farms - Waterwheel

Another photo from Roloff Farms. A waterwheel I saw just prior to getting to the old west town.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Roloff Farms Information Pumpkin

A message board scrapbooking friend of mine asked me to visit Roloff Farms, the pumpkin patch you've seen in "Little People, Big World" on the Discovery Channel. The Roloffs live approximately 20-25 minutes from me here in Oregon.

It was quite the experience. I've never seen lines like that, so on Saturday, we actually turned back out of the line. On Sunday morning, I got to the turnoff for the farms at 9:30, 30 minutes before they opened. There was a line, but I wasn't on the major road. I had a Starbucks drink and a book, and settled in to wait.

Once I got in, I bought a ticket for the Original Town Tour, which includes the old west town Matt Roloff built for his kids. I'll have more pictures up this week, I just wanted to get one photo up for now.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Pearl District Reflection - Tanner Springs Park

My husband and I went on a photowalk this morning in Portland, Oregon. We did a 1.8 mile 2 hour walk around the Pearl District, taking photos of cool things. I tend to focus on textures, reflections, and lines. And since there were no convenient puddles to do reflections in, this park's water did just fine.

Sunday, October 12, 2008


Originally uploaded by Rachel Houghton
Here I am in Las Vegas on 10/9/2008. I have sunglasses on because the smoke was so bad my eyes were bloodshot.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Paris Hotel

Paris Hotel
Originally uploaded by Rachel Houghton
This is where we stayed in Las Vegas - the Paris Hotel.