Oct 29, 2017
In Washington State, property taxes account for about 30% of all state and local taxes. The amount paid by each homeowner is determined, in part, by the value of the property.
- Assessed value is the dollar value assigned to a property by the county assessor which is used to measure applicable taxes.
- Market value refers to the price for which one could likely sell a property on the current real estate market.
- The cost approach to value is based on the cost of replacing an existing structure with a similar building. This method is used to value new construction.
- The income approach to value is determined by the income producing potential of a property. This method is commonly used to value commercial or business property.
All counties in Washington revalue properties each year. Counties are also required to physically inspect properties at least once every six years. Real property is valued on January 1st of each year for taxes due the following year.
If you disagree with the assessed value of your property, contact your local county assessor's office. In Jefferson County, the number is 360-385-9105. You may request copies of the comparable sales the assessor used to establish the value of the property. There is also a dispute process that happens in July of each year.
The tax rate (the amount of tax due per thousand dollars of assessed value) isn't the same for every property in the county. The rate is determined by the various taxing districts such as the state, county, and city legislative authorities, fire districts, school districts, and the voting public (in consideration of special levies).
Washington State has property tax rates somewhat below the national average. The state's average effective tax rate is 1.06%.
Exemptions and reductions to property taxes may be made if a home is destroyed and for certain renovations. Low income senior citizens, veterans with a 100% service connected disability, and disabled persons may also apply for a reduction in their property tax.