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Cost of bond? It may be less than I've been thinking

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So reporter Rob Manning of Oregon Public Broadcasting calls me the other day and says we got the number wrong.

What number? The assessed value of an average home in the five-county PCC district.

We’d been using the number $280,000 for that home. The president has called it “average” several times. I put “average” in a PowerPoint.

So I asked the district vice president. He said Rob is right. The figure $280,000 was never intended to be the “average,” it was just a number that people could wrap their heads around. It’s an average of what a person in, say, Multnomah County might have paid recently for a home.

So what is the average? According to Rob – who’s a great reporter and who called all five county assessors to get to the figure – it’s $178,000. I confirmed that with the vice president.

“I always assume people are trying to spin the numbers during an election,” Rob laughed. “You’re the only people in the world to spin the numbers the wrong way!”

There’s a simple explanation: We’re not very good at this. We educate like nobody’s business. We train the workforce like crazy. Campaigning? Not so much.

So here are the numbers: The PCC bond measure would cost about 32.9 cents per $1,000 of assessed value. For a $280,000 home, that comes to about $8 per month and about $92 per year.

For a home assessed at $178,000, it comes to less than $5 per month and about $58 per year.

This is what I get for not doing the math myself.

Send your feedback to And thanks in advance.

About Dana Haynes

Dana Haynes, joined PCC in 2007 as the manager of the Office of Public Affairs, directing the college's media and government relations. Haynes spent the previous 20 years as a reporter, columnist and editor for Oregon newspapers, including ... more »


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