Appealing An Assessed Valuation

How Can I Appeal the Assessed Valuation of My Property?

The only way to appeal an assessor’s valuation of your property is by timely filing a complete appeal petition with the Island County Board of Equalization.

There is no fee charged for filing an appeal. The appeal petition form must be used. A letter or phone call is not acceptable as a substitute for the petition form.

Who May File an Appeal?

A property owner or “taxpayer” may appeal. Taxpayer means the person or entity whose name and address appears on the assessment rolls, or their duly authorized agent.

Where Can I Get an Appeal Form?

Appeal forms are available from the Clerk of the Board of Equalization at the  Island County Board of Equalization Office 360-679-7379, or at the Camano Island office.

What is the Deadline for Filing a Petition?

July 1st of the current assessment year  or within 30 days of when the “Island County Change of Value Notice” was mailed by the Assessor’s Office.

If you mail your petition, it must be postmarked by midnight of the deadline. You may hand deliver the petition to the Board of Equalization

Should I Contact the Assessor’s Office?

Contact the Assessor’s Office  only to review your valuation any time you have a question regarding your property value. Property owners can often settle disagreements at this level without continuing the appeal process. However, you still need to preserve your appeal rights by timely filing your petition with the Board of Equalization. You can withdraw your petition at any time prior to a hearing.

Who is the Board Of Equalization?

The Board is wholly separate and apart from the Assessor’s Office. They are comprised of County residents appointed by the Island County board of Commissioners. Board members are selected for their knowledge of real estate values and each member is required by law to attend an intensive two day course on the valuation of real property. Board members receive a stipend while they are in session and receive yearly continuing education from the Washington State Department of Revenue. The Board is directed by state law (Revised Code of Washington, RCW, and Washington Administrative Code, WAC).

Information needed to appeal

The appeal form must include specific reasons why you believe the assessor’s valuation is incorrect. Examples may include an appraisal of your property as of the assessment date in question, excessive deterioration of your property or sales of similar properties reflecting a lower value for your property. Statements that the assessor’s valuation is too high or property taxes are excessive are not sufficient reasons.

For a successful appeal, you must provide market evidence that clearly shows the assessor’s valuation is incorrect. This evidence may include information on sales of comparable properties in your area or documentation about conditions of the property that the assessor may not have known. For example, the land is not suitable for a septic system or is not suitable for a building site.

Additional Questions?