Local Improvements and Works Generally

ORS 223.387
Description of real property

  • effect of error in name of owner

In levying, collecting and enforcing assessments for local improvement, the following shall apply:


Real property may be described by giving the subdivision according to the United States survey when coincident with the boundaries thereof, or by lots, blocks and addition names, or by giving the boundaries thereof by metes and bounds, or by reference to the book and page of any public record of the county where the description may be found, or by designation of tax lot number referring to a record kept by the assessor of descriptions of real properties of the county, which record shall constitute a public record, or in any other manner as to cause the description to be capable of being made certain. Initial letters, abbreviations, figures, fractions and exponents, to designate the township, range, section, or part of a section, or the number of any lot or block or part thereof, or any distance, course, bearing or direction, may be employed in any description of real property.


If the owner of any land is unknown, the land may be assessed to “unknown owner,” or “unknown owners.” If the property is correctly described, no final assessment shall be invalidated by a mistake in the name of the owner of the real property assessed or by the omission of the name of the owner or the entry of a name other than that of the true owner. Where the name of the true owner, or the owner of record, of any parcel of real property is given, the final assessment shall not be held invalid on account of any error or irregularity in the description if the description would be sufficient in a deed of conveyance from the owner, or is such that, in a suit to enforce a contract to convey, employing such description a court of equity would hold it to be good and sufficient.


Any description of real property which conforms substantially to the requirements of this section shall be a sufficient description in all proceedings of assessment relating or leading to a final assessment for a local improvement, foreclosure and sale of delinquent assessments, and in any other proceeding related to or connected with levying, collecting and enforcing final assessments for special benefits to the property. [1959 c.219 §1; 1965 c.282 §4; 1971 c.198 §1; 1991 c.902 §36]
§§ 223.387 to 223.399

Atty. Gen. Opinions

Application of Ballot Measure 47 (Oregon Constitution Article XI, section 11g) to issuance of bonds for specific local improvements, (1996) Vol 48, p 67

Chapter 223

Notes of Decisions

Fact that ordinance, which charged fee to property owners taking advantage of privilege of making connection to city water system, specified that payment would be secured by liens which would be "enforced" in matter provided by this chapter did not, of itself, show that such charges were "assessments." Montgomery Brothers v. City of Corvallis, 34 Or App 785, 580 P2d 190 (1978)

Circuit court has jurisdiction to determine merits of assessment, but cannot address whether assessment is subject to constitutional limits on property taxes. Martin v. City of Tigard, 14 OTR 517 (1999), aff'd 335 Or 444, 72 P3d 619 (2003)

State statutory procedures for financing local improvements are not exclusive and do not displace consistent local procedures. Baker v. City of Woodburn, 190 Or App 445, 79 P3d 901 (2003), Sup Ct review denied


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Jun. 26, 2021