USA Statutes : washington
Title : Property taxes
Chapter : Equalization of assessments
RCW 84.48.010County board of equalization Formation Per diem Meetings Duties Records Correction of rolls Extending taxes Change in valuation, release or commutation of taxes by county legislative authority prohibited.Prior to July 15th, the county legislative authority shall form a board for the equalization of the assessment of the property of the county. The members of said board shall receive a per diem amount as set by the county legislative authority for each day of actual attendance of the meeting of the board of equalization to be paid out of the current expense fund of the county: PROVIDED, That when the county legislative authority constitute the board they shall only receive their compensation as members of the county legislative authority. The board of equalization shall meet in open session for this purpose annually on the 15th day of July and, having each taken an oath fairly and impartially to perform their duties as members of such board, they shall examine and compare the returns of the assessment of the property of the county and proceed to equalize the same, so that each tract or lot of real property and each article or class of personal property shall be entered on the assessment list at its true and fair value, according to the measure of value used by the county assessor in such assessment year, which is presumed to be correct under RCW 84.40.0301, and subject to the following rules: First. They shall raise the valuation of each tract or lot or item of real property which is returned below its true and fair value to such price or sum as to be the true and fair value thereof, after at least five days' notice shall have been given in writing to the owner or agent. Second. They shall reduce the valuation of each tract or lot or item which is returned above its true and fair value to such price or sum as to be the true and fair value thereof. Third. They shall raise the valuation of each class of personal property which is returned below its true and fair value to such price or sum as to be the true and fair value thereof, and they shall raise the aggregate value of the personal property of each individual whenever the aggregate value is less than the true valuation of the taxable personal property possessed by such individual, to such sum or amount as to be the true value thereof, after at least five days' notice shall have been given in writing to the owner or agent thereof. Fourth. They shall reduce the valuation of each class of personal property enumerated on the detail and assessment list of the current year, which is returned above its true and fair value, to such price or sum as to be the true and fair value thereof; and they shall reduce the aggregate valuation of the personal property of such individual who has been assessed at too large a sum to such sum or amount as was the true and fair value of the personal property. Fifth. The board may review all claims for either real or personal property tax exemption as determined by the county assessor, and shall consider any taxpayer appeals from the decision of the assessor thereon to determine (1) if the taxpayer is entitled to an exemption, and (2) if so, the amount thereof. The clerk of the board shall keep an accurate journal or record of the proceedings and orders of said board showing the facts and evidence upon which their action is based, and the said record shall be published the same as other proceedings of county legislative authority, and shall make a true record of the changes of the descriptions and assessed values ordered by the county board of equalization. The assessor shall correct the real and personal assessment rolls in accordance with the changes made by the said county board of equalization, and the assessor shall make duplicate abstracts of such corrected values, one copy of which shall be retained in the office, and one copy forwarded to the department of revenue on or before the eighteenth day of August next following the meeting of the county board of equalization. The county board of equalization shall meet on the 15th day of July and may continue in session and adjourn from time to time during a period not to exceed four weeks, but shall remain in session not less than three days: PROVIDED, That the county board of equalization with the approval of the county legislative authority may convene at any time when petitions filed exceed twenty-five, or ten percent of the number of appeals filed in the preceding year, whichever is greater. No taxes, except special taxes, shall be extended upon the tax rolls until the property valuations are equalized by the department of revenue for the purpose of raising the state revenue. County legislative authorities as such shall at no time have any authority to change the valuation of the property of any person or to release or commute in whole or in part the taxes due on the property of any person.[2001 c 187 § 22; 1997 c 3 § 109 (Referendum Bill No. 47, approved November 4, 1997); 1988 c 222 § 20; 1979 c 13 § 1. Prior: 1977 ex.s. c 290 § 2; 1977 c 33 § 1; 1970 ex.s. c 55 § 2; 1961 c 15 § 84.48.010; prior: 1939 c 206 § 35; 1925 ex.s. c 130 § 68; RRS § 11220; prior: 1915 c 122 § 1; 1907 c 129 § 1; 1897 c 71 § 58; 1893 c 124 § 59; 1890 p 555 § 73; Code 1881 §§ 2873-2879. Formerly RCW 84.48.010, 84.48.020, 84.48.030, 84.48.040, and 84.48.060.]Notes:Contingent effective date -- 2001 c 187: See note following RCW 84.70.010.Application -- 2001 c 187: See note following RCW 84.40.020.Application -- Severability -- Part headings not law -- Referral to electorate -- 1997 c 3: See notes following RCW 84.40.030.Effective date -- 1988 c 222: See note following RCW 84.40.040.Effective date -- 1970 ex.s. c 55: See note following RCW 84.36.050. RCW 84.48.050Abstract of rolls to state auditor State action if assessor does not transmit, when.The county assessor shall, on or before the fifteenth day of January in each year, make out and transmit to the state auditor, in such form as may be prescribed, a complete abstract of the tax rolls of the county, showing the number of acres that have been assessed and the total value of the real property, including the structures on the real property; the total value of all taxable personal property in the county; the aggregate amount of all taxable property in the county; the total amount as equalized and the total amount of taxes levied in the county for state, county, city and other taxing district purposes, for that year. Should the assessor of any county fail to transmit to the department of revenue the abstract provided for in RCW 84.48.010, and if, by reason of such failure to transmit such abstract, any county shall fail to collect and pay to the state its due proportion of the state tax for any year, the department of revenue shall ascertain what amount of state tax said county has failed to collect, and certify the same to the state auditor, who shall charge the amount to the proper county and notify the auditor of said county of the amount of said charge; said sum shall be due and payable immediately by warrant in favor of the state on the current expense fund of said county.[1995 c 134 § 15. Prior: 1994 c 301 § 42; 1994 c 124 § 31; 1961 c 15 § 84.48.050; prior: 1925 ex.s. c 130 § 69; RRS § 11221; prior: 1890 p 557 § 74. Formerly RCW 84.48.050 and 84.48.070.] RCW 84.48.065Cancellation and correction of erroneous assessments and assessments on property on which land use designation is changed.(1) The county assessor or treasurer may cancel or correct assessments on the assessment or tax rolls which are erroneous due to manifest errors in description, double assessments, clerical errors in extending the rolls, and such manifest errors in the listing of the property which do not involve a revaluation of property, except in the case that a taxpayer produces proof that an authorized land use authority has made a definitive change in the property's land use designation. In such a case, correction of the assessment or tax rolls may be made notwithstanding the fact that the action involves a revaluation of property. Manifest errors that do not involve a revaluation of property include the assessment of property exempted by law from taxation or the failure to deduct the exemption allowed by law to the head of a family. When the county assessor cancels or corrects an assessment, the assessor shall send a notice to the taxpayer in accordance with RCW 84.40.045, advising the taxpayer that the action has been taken and notifying the taxpayer of the right to appeal the cancellation or correction to the county board of equalization, in accordance with RCW 84.40.038. When the county assessor or treasurer cancels or corrects an assessment, a record of such action shall be prepared, setting forth therein the facts relating to the error. The record shall also set forth by legal description all property belonging exclusively to the state, any county, or any municipal corporation whose property is exempt from taxation, upon which there remains, according to the tax roll, any unpaid taxes. No manifest error cancellation or correction, including a cancellation or correction made due to a definitive change of land use designation, shall be made for any period more than three years preceding the year in which the error is discovered. (2)(a) In the case of a definitive change of land use designation, an assessor shall make corrections that involve a revaluation of property to the assessment roll when: (i) The assessor and taxpayer have signed an agreement as to the true and fair value of the taxpayer's property setting forth in the agreement the valuation information upon which the agreement is based; and (ii) The assessment roll has previously been certified in accordance with RCW 84.40.320. (b) In all other cases, an assessor shall make corrections that involve a revaluation of property to the assessment roll when: (i) The assessor and taxpayer have signed an agreement as to the true and fair value of the taxpayer's property setting forth in the agreement the valuation information upon which the agreement is based; and (ii) The following conditions are met: (A) The assessment roll has previously been certified in accordance with RCW 84.40.320; (B) The taxpayer has timely filed a petition with the county board of equalization pursuant to RCW 84.40.038 for the current assessment year; (C) The county board of equalization has not yet held a hearing on the merits of the taxpayer's petition. (3) The assessor shall issue a supplementary roll or rolls including such cancellations and corrections, and the assessment and levy shall have the same force and effect as if made in the first instance, and the county treasurer shall proceed to collect the taxes due on the rolls as modified.[2001 c 187 § 23; 1997 c 3 § 110 (Referendum Bill No. 47, approved November 4, 1997); 1996 c 296 § 1; 1992 c 206 § 12; 1989 c 378 § 14; 1988 c 222 § 25.]Notes:Contingent effective date -- 2001 c 187: See note following RCW 84.70.010.Application -- 2001 c 187: See note following RCW 84.40.020.Application -- Severability -- Part headings not law -- Referral to electorate -- 1997 c 3: See notes following RCW 84.40.030.Effective date -- 1992 c 206: See note following RCW 82.04.170. RCW 84.48.075County indicated ratio Determination by department Submission of preliminary ratio to assessor Rules Use classes Review of preliminary ratio Certification Examination of assessment procedures Adjustment of ratio.(1) The department of revenue shall annually, prior to the first Monday in September, determine and submit to each assessor a preliminary indicated ratio for each county: PROVIDED, That the department shall establish rules and regulations pertinent to the determination of the indicated ratio, the indicated real property ratio and the indicated personal property ratio: PROVIDED FURTHER, That these rules and regulations may provide that data, as is necessary for said determination, which is available from the county assessor of any county and which has been audited as to its validity by the department, shall be utilized by the department in determining the indicated ratio. (2) To such extent as is reasonable, the department may define use classes of property for the purposes of determination of the indicated ratio. Such use classes may be defined with respect to property use and may include agricultural, open space, timber and forest lands. (3) The department shall review each county's preliminary ratio with the assessor, a landowner, or an owner of an intercounty public utility or private car company of that county, if requested by the assessor, a landowner, or an owner of an intercounty public utility or private car company of that county, respectively, between the first and third Mondays of September. Prior to equalization of assessments pursuant to RCW 84.48.080 and after the third Monday of September, the department shall certify to each county assessor the real and personal property ratio for that county. (4) The department of revenue shall also examine procedures used by the assessor to assess real and personal property in the county, including calculations, use of prescribed value schedules, and efforts to locate all taxable property in the county. If any examination by the department discloses other than market value is being listed on the county assessment rolls of the county by the assessor and, after due notification by the department, is not corrected, the department of revenue shall, in accordance with rules adopted by the department, adjust the ratio of that type of property, which adjustment shall be used for determining the county's indicated ratio.[2001 c 187 § 24; 1997 c 3 § 111 (Referendum Bill No. 47, approved November 4, 1997); 1988 c 222 § 23; 1982 1st ex.s. c 46 § 7; 1977 ex.s. c 284 § 3.]Notes:Contingent effective date -- 2001 c 187: See note following RCW 84.70.010.Application -- 2001 c 187: See note following RCW 84.40.020.Application -- Severability -- Part headings not law -- Referral to electorate -- 1997 c 3: See notes following RCW 84.40.030.Purpose -- Intent -- 1977 ex.s. c 284: "It is the intent of the legislature that the methodology used in the equalization of property values for the purposes of the state levy, public utility assessment, and other purposes, shall be designed to ensure uniformity and equity in taxation throughout the state to the maximum extent possible. It is the purpose of this 1977 amendatory act to provide certain guidelines for the determination of the ratio of assessed value to the full true and fair value of the general property in each county." [1977 ex.s. c 284 § 1.] RCW 84.48.080Equalization of assessments Taxes for state purposes Procedure Levy and apportionment Hypothetical levy for establishing consolidated levy Rules Record.(1) Annually during the months of September and October, the department of revenue shall examine and compare the returns of the assessment of the property in the several counties of the state, and the assessment of the property of railroad and other companies assessed by the department, and proceed to equalize the same, so that each county in the state shall pay its due and just proportion of the taxes for state purposes for such assessment year, according to the ratio the valuation of the property in each county bears to the total valuation of all property in the state. (a) The department shall classify all property, real and personal, and shall raise and lower the valuation of any class of property in any county to a value that shall be equal, so far as possible, to the true and fair value of such class as of January 1st of the current year for the purpose of ascertaining the just amount of tax due from each county for state purposes. In equalizing personal property as of January 1st of the current year, the department shall use valuation data with respect to personal property from the three years immediately preceding the current assessment year in a manner it deems appropriate. Such classification may be on the basis of types of property, geographical areas, or both. For purposes of this section, for each county that has not provided the department with an assessment return by December 1st, the department shall proceed, using facts and information and in a manner it deems appropriate, to estimate the value of each class of property in the county. (b) The department shall keep a full record of its proceedings and the same shall be published annually by the department. (2) The department shall levy the state taxes authorized by law. The amount levied in any one year for general state purposes shall not exceed the lawful dollar rate on the dollar of the assessed value of the property of the entire state, which assessed value shall be one hundred percent of the true and fair value of the property in money. The department shall apportion the amount of tax for state purposes levied by the department, among the several counties, in proportion to the valuation of the taxable property of the county for the year as equalized by the department: PROVIDED, That for purposes of this apportionment, the department shall recompute the previous year's levy and the apportionment thereof to correct for changes and errors in taxable values reported to the department after October 1 of the preceding year and shall adjust the apportioned amount of the current year's state levy for each county by the difference between the apportioned amounts established by the original and revised levy computations for the previous year. For purposes of this section, changes in taxable values mean a final adjustment made by a county board of equalization, the state board of tax appeals, or a court of competent jurisdiction and shall include additions of omitted property, other additions or deletions from the assessment or tax rolls, any assessment return provided by a county to the department subsequent to December 1st, or a change in the indicated ratio of a county. Errors in taxable values mean errors corrected by a final reviewing body. In addition to computing a levy under this subsection that is reduced under RCW 84.55.012, the department shall compute a hypothetical levy without regard to the reduction under RCW 84.55.012. This hypothetical levy shall also be apportioned among the several counties in proportion to the valuation of the taxable property of the county for the year, as equalized by the department, in the same manner as the actual levy and shall be used by the county assessors for the purpose of recomputing and establishing a consolidated levy under RCW 84.52.010. (3) The department shall have authority to adopt rules and regulations to enforce obedience to its orders in all matters in relation to the returns of county assessments, the equalization of values, and the apportionment of the state levy by the department. (4) After the completion of the duties prescribed in this section, the director of the department shall certify the record of the proceedings of the department under this section, the tax levies made for state purposes and the apportionment thereof among the counties, and the certification shall be available for public inspection.[2001 c 185 § 12; 1997 c 3 § 112 (Referendum Bill No. 47, approved November 4, 1997); 1995 2nd sp.s. c 13 § 3; 1994 c 301 § 43; 1990 c 283 § 1; 1988 c 222 § 24; 1982 1st ex.s. c 28 § 1; 1979 ex.s. c 86 § 3; 1973 1st ex.s. c 195 § 99; 1971 ex.s. c 288 § 9; 1961 c 15 § 84.48.080. Prior: 1949 c 66 § 1; 1939 c 206 § 36; 1925 ex.s. c 130 § 70; Rem. Supp. 1949 § 11222; prior: 1917 c 55 § 1; 1915 c 7 § 1; 1907 c 215 § 1; 1899 c 141 § 4; 1897 c 71 § 60; 1893 c 124 § 61; 1890 p 557 § 75. Formerly RCW 84.48.080, 84.48.090, and 84.48.100.]Notes:Contingent effective date -- 2001 c 185 §§ 12 and 15: "Section 15 of this act takes effect for taxes levied in 2001 for collection in 2002 and thereafter if the proposed amendment to Article VII, section 1 of the state Constitution providing for valuation increases to be phased-in over a period of four years is validly submitted to and is approved and ratified by voters at the next general election. If the proposed amendment is not approved and ratified, section 15 of this act is null and void. If such proposed amendment is approved and ratified, section 12 of this act is null and void." [2001 c 185 § 16.]Reviser's note: No proposed amendment to Article VII, section 1 of the state Constitution was submitted to the voters.Application -- 2001 c 185 §§ 1-12: See note following RCW 84.14.110.Application -- Severability -- Part headings not law -- Referral to electorate -- 1997 c 3: See notes following RCW 84.40.030.Intent -- 1995 2nd sp.s. c 13: See note following RCW 84.55.012.Severability -- 1982 1st ex.s. c 28: "If any provision of this act or its application to any person or circumstance is held invalid, the remainder of the act or the application of the provision to other persons or circumstances is not affected." [1982 1st ex.s. c 28 § 3.]Severability -- 1979 ex.s. c 86: See note following RCW 13.24.040.Severability -- Effective dates and termination dates -- Construction -- 1973 1st ex.s. c 195: See notes following RCW 84.52.043.Savings -- Severability -- 1971 ex.s. c 288: See notes following RCW 84.40.030.