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Overview of Property Tax Valuation and Equalization

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1 Overview of Property Tax Valuation and Equalization

2 Property Tax Base All real and personal property is subject to tax on its value except: Exemptions provided by constitution or statute Government property, some nonprofits, seniors’ residences (partial), household goods, business inventories.

3 Assessed Value=Market Value
State Constitution requires uniform assessments. State statute sets assessment standard as 100% of true and fair value (Market Value). Except open space, farm land, and forest land have special assessments below market value. Market Value: The amount of money a willing buyer will pay to a willing seller for this property with knowledge of the market.

4 Who Determines Value? County Assessor values most real and personal property. Department of Revenue values the operating property of utilities located in more than one county. Valuation methods: Sales Comparison Income Approach Cost Approach

5 How close are assessed values to market value?
Department of Revenue checks the assessed values against actual sales prices each year. The “Ratio” of assessed value to market value is calculated. Assessors are valuing property at about 90% of market value. Ratios range from 74% of market value to 96% of market value. Local assessed values are adjusted (equalized) up to market value for: Distribution of the state property tax across counties Allocation of funds under the school levy equalization formula

6 Adjusting (equalizing) the 2002 State Property Tax Rate for differences in Assessment Levels State Property Tax Rate = $2.71 per $1,000 of value (at 100% of market value) County Ratio Rate Adams 89.9 3.02 Asotin 90.1 3.01 Benton 89.3 3.03 Chelan 82.7 3.28 Clallam 90.3 3.00 Clark 93.9 2.88 Columbia 95.9 2.83 Cowlitz 92.0 2.95 Douglas 94.2 Ferry 91.6 2.96 Franklin 89.2 3.04 Garfield 95.3 2.84 Grant 86.4 3.14 Grays Harbor 92.3 2.94 Island 95.4 County Ratio Rate Jefferson 92.4 2.93 King 91.0 2.98 Kitsap 88.0 3.08 Kittitas 90.2 3.01 Klickitat 89.9 Lewis 93.0 2.91 Lincoln 90.0 Mason 91.7 2.96 Okanogan 87.7 3.09 Pacific 94.5 2.87 Pend Oreille 73.7 3.68 Pierce San Juan 82.2 3.30 Skagit 94.4 Skamania 93.8 2.89 County Ratio Rate Snohomish 82.6 3.28 Spokane 88.5 3.06 Stevens 92.1 2.94 Thurston 89.2 3.04 Wahkiakum 91.5 2.96 Walla Walla 89.6 3.03 Whatcom 86.1 3.15 Whitman 89.0 Yakima 89.1 State Total 89.9 3.01 Ratio = Assessed Value/Market Value Rate in Dollars per $1,000 of Assessed Value

7 Adjusting the School District Value for differences in Assessment Levels
Levy Equalization Formula uses Assessed Value per Student. Within the levy equalization formula: School district assessed values are adjusted using the ratio of assessed value to market value. This procedure makes assessed value per student comparable across school districts.


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