The King County Department of Assessments has begun the annual process of mailing property valuation notices to over 700,000 residential and business property owners. Property values are rising between 10 and 15 percent in many areas of the county.
Specific value changes will vary based on the area, and the characteristics of the property. King County sets property values for residential property based on sales of comparable properties.
Rising property values does not necessarily mean commensurate increases in property taxes. King County Assessor John Wilson, reminded taxpayers that decisions made by elected officials and voters, not rising values, are usually the cause of increasing property taxes.
“Most people don’t realize that the fluctuating value of your property has less to do with changes in your tax bill, than do changes in state law and measures approved by voters,” said Wilson. “The new statewide property tax to fund schools, approved by the legislature in 2017, is the main reason property taxes rose an average of 17% in King County this year. Decisions made by lawmakers and voters determine the total amount of tax to be collected in your area; the value of your property determines your share of that total amount.”
Wilson continues to encourage property owners to sign up to receive their annual property valuation notice via email instead of through the USPS. This electronic valuation notice program is convenient for property owners, will save money for the Department of Assessments, and is environmentally friendly.
To sign up, go to kingcounty.gov/assessor and click on the Go Paperless window for details. Paperless notifications saves taxpayer dollars in staff time, materials and postage.
Property owners who believe their assessment may be incorrect, can appeal to the King County Board of Equalization (BOE). This must be done within 60 days of the date on the valuation notice. Appeals can be filed on-line. Details are available at www.kingcounty.gov/assessor, and at the BOE at http://www.kingcounty.gov/independent/board-of-appeals/about.aspx.
State law requires each county assessor to revalue property annually, and to conduct an on-site inspection of each property at least once during every six-year cycle. Property values are determined by accredited appraisers who assess property based on comparable sales, and various attributes of a particular property.