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The Assessor values real property using one or more of the three professional appraisal methods:
(All approaches to value which apply to a particular property may be used by the appraiser.)
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A simple definition of market value is the most probable price real estate should bring when offered for sale by a person who is willing but not obligated to sell it, and is bought by a person who is willing to purchase it but is not forced to do so.
Taxable property is divided into real and personal property. Real and personal property are taxed at the same rate.
Real Property includes land, improvements attached to the land, and all rights inherent in ownership. Real property is valued in compliance with state law using accepted mass appraisal principles.
Personal Property includes any property that is not real property, that is, not permanently fixed to or a part of real estate. Machinery, equipment, furniture, fixtures and supplies associated with commercial, industrial or agricultural enterprises are assessed and taxed as personal property. Business inventories, household goods and personal effects are exempt from the property tax.
Everyone who uses personal property in a business must complete a personal property affidavit by April 30 each year. The affidavit lists the taxable property by category, its cost and acquisition date. The assessor uses the affidavit to value property for taxes due the following year. The Washington State Department of Revenue and county assessor conducts ongoing audits on personal property accounts throughout the county.
Clallam County is on a six-year physical revaluation cycle. Each year, all of the properties in 1/6th of the county are physically inspected, while sales activities are monitored for the remaining 5/6ths of the county using computer assisted market analysis. Assessed values are adjusted upward or downward to market when necessary based on this annual analysis.
No, it is not generally necessary for an appraiser to inspect the interior of a home that has been previously appraised. You may, however, wish to review your property record with the appraiser to update the current condition of your property as well as check for errors in the data (such as number of bathrooms, etc.).
RCW 84.41.040 requires the physical examination of all taxable real property to obtain adequate data on which to base accurate valuations. If access is denied, the appraiser must estimate the value using whatever information he or she has available, and the value derived from that estimate will remain on the tax rolls until a physical examination of the property is permitted.
When market value changes, so does assessed value. The assessor's staff strives to establish your assessed value as closely as possible to market value. This means your property is valued for what it would sell for as of January 1st of the current year, based on comparable sales, not necessarily what you paid for it. For example, if you buy an older home and fix it up or add a garage to your home, the assessed value would increase. However, if your property is in poor repair, the assessed value would decrease. The assessor cannot falsely create market value....buyers and sellers create market value as a result of their transactions in the market place. The assessor has the legal responsibility to study those transactions and estimate the value of your property accordingly.
Two things determine the amount of your property tax bill:
Each year after the total assessed value is set, the assessor calculates tax rates based on taxing district budget requests which are regulated by statutory limits. Each taxing district in the county sends its approved budget to the assessor. The assessor uses the budget request and the total value of all taxable properties in the district to calculate a tax rate.
The rate is expressed in dollars per each thousand dollars of property value. The tax rate of each district is combined with the rates of other districts to get the total rate. From this the assessor can easily determine the total tax you owe for support of schools, special service districts, and local governments.
A property tax levy is the total amount of money to be raised from the property tax, as set forth in the budget for the local government or tax jurisdiction. The cost of providing public services determines your property tax. Local government consists of various taxing districts including fire districts, regional library, cities, county government, roads, hospitals, and ports. This levy, whether higher or lower than the preceding year, is determined by the budget-making authority of the local government. A portion of the tax is distributed to the state for local school support. In addition, taxes are collected to pay for special voter-approved levies, such as school maintenance and operation levies and bonds and emergency medical levies. The levy rate (or tax rate) is expressed as dollars per $1000 of assessed value.
The amount of property tax due on similar properties may be different throughout a county. There are three reasons for these differences:
Please see the Treasurer Home Page.
Given the fact that we value thousands of properties each year and that our values are the basis for a tax, it is inevitable that there will be some disagreements. You may contact the assessor's office to review your valuation any time you have a question about your property value. Property owners can often settle disagreements at this level without filing a formal appeal. If you are not satisfied, you may file a written appeal with the Clallam County Board of Equalization located at the Clallam County Courthouse, 223 East 4th Street, Suite 18, Port Angeles, WA 98362. Appeal forms are available at both the Assessor's Office, the County Board of Equalization, and on both department's websites.
The completed petition must be filed by July 1 of the assessment year or within 30 days of the date the change of value notice was mailed. Your Valuation Change Notice will indicate a specific deadline date for appeal. The County Board of Equalization is appointed by the Commissioners to determine questions of market value. It does not consider taxes. Should you have more questions about the appeals process, you may call the Assessor's office at 360-417-2204 and request a Taxpayer's Guide to Appealing Property Assessments.