Certificate of taxes paid required to record instrument conveying real property to public entity; authorization for agent in conveyance to withhold taxes; issuance of certificate; deficiency constitutes personal debt of transferor collectible in same manner as taxes on personal property
(1)As used in this section:
(a)“Authorized agent” means an agent who is responsible for closing and settlement services in a conveyance.
(b)“Charges against the real property” means all ad valorem property taxes, additional taxes and potential additional taxes, fees, interest, penalties, costs and other charges that have been or will be charged or listed during the property tax year on the assessment roll or the tax roll with respect to real property that is the subject of an instrument described in subsection (2) of this section.
(c)“Closing and settlement services” means services that are provided by:
(A)A licensed escrow agent in a real estate closing escrow within the meaning of ORS 696.505 (Definitions for ORS 696.505 to 696.590) to 696.590 (Penalty amounts); or
(B)An attorney for the benefit of a transferor or a transferee in a conveyance, if, simultaneously with the conveyance, the attorney deposits the unpaid purchase price into the attorney’s client trust account for disbursal pursuant to the written instructions of, or the agreement between, the transferor and transferee.
(d)“Consideration” means the amount of cash paid for a conveyance.
(e)“Conveyance” means the transfer of, or a contract to transfer, fee title to any real property located in this state to a transferee whose property is exempt from taxation under ORS 307.040 (Property of the United States) or 307.090 (Property of the state, counties and other municipal corporations). “Conveyance” does not include a transfer of fee title of less than an entire parcel of property for state highway, county road or city street purposes.
(2)Notwithstanding ORS 205.130 (Recording duties of county clerk), a county clerk may not record or cause to be recorded an instrument conveying or contracting to convey fee title to real property to an entity whose property is exempt from taxation under ORS 307.040 (Property of the United States) or 307.090 (Property of the state, counties and other municipal corporations) unless the instrument is accompanied by a certificate issued by the assessor of the county in which the real property is located attesting that all charges against the real property as of the date of the recording have been paid.
(3)(a) On or after July 1 of any year, and before the date on which the assessor makes a certificate pursuant to ORS 311.105 (Certificate of taxes levied or imposed), a person seeking to record an instrument described in subsection (2) of this section shall pay to the tax collector of the county:
(A)If the exact amount of charges against the real property can be computed by the county assessor, the exact amount.
(B)If the exact amount cannot be computed, an amount equal to the county assessor’s estimate of the exact amount.
(b)The county assessor shall levy and the tax collector shall collect the exact amount or the county assessor’s estimate of the exact amount under this subsection.
(c)Payment made pursuant to this subsection may be made less any discount allowed under ORS 311.505 (Due dates).
(4)(a) Pursuant to written instructions from the transferor, an authorized agent in a conveyance may withhold from the consideration payable to the transferor an amount equal to the amount of charges against the real property as of the date of the conveyance.
(b)Amounts withheld pursuant to this subsection are held in trust for the taxing districts within the county in which the real property is located and shall be paid to the county tax collector before the consideration, net of the amounts withheld, may be paid to the transferor.
(5)(a) If all charges against the real property as of the date of the recording have been paid, the county assessor shall issue the certificate described in subsection (2) of this section and may not unreasonably withhold delivery of the certificate.
(b)The certificate shall be in a form prescribed by the Department of Revenue.
(6)Any deficiency in the amount required to be paid under this section:
(a)Notwithstanding ORS 311.405 (Tax as lien), is not a lien on the real property that is the subject of the instrument described in subsection (2) of this section;
(b)Constitutes a personal debt of the person who has conveyed or contracted to convey the real property under the instrument described in subsection (2) of this section; and
(c)Shall be collected as provided by law for the collection of delinquent property taxes on personal property. [2015 c.96 §1; 2016 c.98 §3]
Law Review Citations
5 EL 516 (1975)