Washington State Property Tax

Determining Fair Value

The county board of equalization determines if all properties are assessed at their true and fair value. Equalization issues brought before the county board can result in changes in property values on a larger scale, so it’s important to be sure you’re getting an accurate assessment when submitting your appeal.

The Hearing Process

The clerk of the board of equalization will notify you about your date, location, and time for a scheduled hearing.

The hearing is an informal review that allows property owners to represent themselves without the assistance of a lawyer. Both you and the assessor will give oral testimony, present written evidence supporting your position on value, provide a rebuttal for any claims made by the opposing party (provided there are more than one).

Keep in mind the assessor, by law, is presumed to be correct. The burden of proof is on you, the taxpayer; show that their assessed value isn’t accurate and prove it with clear evidence, or else the hearing board will not find the appeal in your favor.

The Board of Equalization must issue a written decision within 45 days after the hearing.

Appealing The Equalization Board Decision

Appeals against the board of equalization are a rigorous process. You may challenge their decision with an appeal for the State Board of Tax Appeals, which must be filed within 30 days after your postmarked date on the letter from them. Alternatively, you can pay under protest and then petition Superior Court to get back what’s rightfully yours.

Relevant Washington State Statutes