Board Of Equalization

 

Yakima County Board of Equalization is an independent board of Commissioner Appointed members created to hear property tax appeals on Assessor's determination of assessed valuations and to equalize property. The Board was established by RCW 84.48 and is a quasi-judicial body governed by the Washington State Department of Revenue.

The Yakima County Board of Equalization, consisting of five citizen volunteers, provides taxpayers with the opportunity to appeal property assessments. The Current Board is made up of three members and two alternate members, who serve three-year terms. Members should have some knowledge of property values, and may not be an elected official or employed by an elected official.

Board of Equalization appeal forms may be obtained from the Clerk of the Board. Request a form be mail by contacting the Clerk at (509) 574-1500. Voicemail is available twenty-four hours, seven days a week. Leave your name, telephone number, and mailing address. Or request by E-mail for forms to be mailed. Forms will be mailed the next business day. In addition, the form is available for download below:

Taxpayer Petition to the Yakima County Board of Equalization Form

Appeals must be filed with the Board of Equalization by the filing deadline, July 1, of the Assessment year or within 60 days of the date of the Assessor's Notice of Value.

For additional information, please see the Washington State Department of Revenue Property Tax Information

 

Mail completed forms and information to:
Board of Equalization
128 N. 2nd Street
Yakima WA 98901

 

Hearing Address:
First Street Conference Room
(Old Pizza Hut Building)
223 N. 1st Street
Yakima WA 98901


If you feel the assessment of your property is not correct you may appeal the value of your property to the Board of Equalization. The following information is to assist you in this process.

LISTING COMPARABLE SALES
You may obtain comparable sales information from records at the Department of Property Assessments, realtors or title companies. Select the sales of properties that are most comparable to your property/home which sold within 5 years prior to the assessment valuation date on your property. The best sales comparisons are sales of similar properties in your area or neighborhood. For each comparable sale you use, be sure to include the parcel number, property address, date of sale and the sale price.. Sales within the last 5 years are permissible; however the closer the sale to the assessment date, the better the comparison. Also include comparable characteristics of the property. Comparable characteristics to consider are:

MARKET LAND

  • Location (sales in the same subdivision or neighborhood are the best evidence)
  • Unit of comparison (lot size, acreage, square feet, front footage)
  • Zoning
  • Desirable features such as a view or waterfront
  • Undesirable features such as access problems
  • Wetlands
  • Water systems and sewer/septic systems.

BUILDING, CROP, ETC

  • Type of construction (wood frame, brick, etc.)
  • Square footage of total finished living area
  • Age and Building condition
  • Number of bedrooms and bathrooms
  • Amenities (pool, fireplace, etc.)
  • Type of crop, age of fruit trees.

OTHER SUPPORTING EVIDENCE TO INCLUDE:

  • A map showing the location of your property and the comparable sales
  • Appraisals prepared by others
  • Documentation by others concerning problems
  • Written estimates of the cost to repair problems
  • Photographs to illustrate repairs or concerns

INCOME AND EXPENSE INFORMATION

If your appeal is on a Commercial or Industrial property, you must submit at least three (3) years of income and expense information along with your appeal. Both the Board of Equalization and the Assessorís office realize the sensitivity of this information. Both RCW 84.08.210 and 84.40.020 protect the privacy of this information from disclosure or public inspection. You can be assured that this information will be held in strict confidence.

REDUCTIONS, EXEMPTIONS, DEFERRALS

If your property is damaged or destroyed, you may be eligible for a reduced assessed value for taxes payable in the following year. Destroyed Property forms are available from the Department of Property Assessments.

If you have agricultural, open space, or timberlands, you may apply for classification under the Current Use/ Open Space program. A current use assessment generally - means a reduced assessed value on land value for the duration of the classification. Please be advised, there are additional tax, penalties, and interest charges for removal from this classification. Contact the Assessorís Office for information and application forms. The application must be made by December 31st for classification in the following assessment year.

If you improve your single-family residence by remodeling or adding new rooms, you may apply for a three-year exemption from taxes on the value of the physical improvements. Physical improvements do not include normal maintenance items. An application for the exemption must be filed with the Assessor prior to completion of the project.

SENIOR CITIZEN/DISPABLED PERSONS EXEMPTION PROGRAM

If you are a senior citizen or disabled person you may qualify for property tax relief. To be eligible for the Property Tax Exemption program, you must:

  • Be age 61 or older on December 31st of the year the claim is filed, or
  • Be retired from regular gainful employment because of a disability
  • Be the owner and occupant of a single-family dwelling, mobile home, or one unit in multi-unit or cooperative housing;
  • Have a combined disposable income of $35,000 or less for the year the application is filed (including income of spouse and/or co-tenant)

Your household income determines the amount of exemption from regular property taxes or excess levies.

Senior citizens and disabled persons who apply for qualification for this property tax exemption program, must provide verification and proof of income to the Assessorís office.

PROPERTY TAX DEFERRAL PROGRAM

If you are a senior citizen at least 60 years of age, or a person retired because of disabilities and have qualified for a senior/disabled exemption and your income is below $40,000, you may defer property taxes and special assessments to a total amount equal to 80% of the equity in your home. Unlike the senior citizens and disabled persons exemption program, deferred taxes are a lien on the property. This lien becomes payable, together with interest, upon sale or transfer of the property.

OTHER EXEMPTIONS

Your family automobile, household goods, personal effects, and home furnishings are not subject to property tax. However, personal property tax may be due if these items are used in a business. Churches, government units, and many nonprofit agencies do not pay property tax when the property is used for a tax-exempt purpose. The Department of Revenue determines which properties are entitled to the exemption based on laws enacted by the Legislature.

PROPERTY TAX RATES DIFFER

The amount of property tax due on comparable properties may be different throughout a county. Such differences can be due to multiple factors:

  1. The various combinations of taxing districts in different areas of the county.
  2. The amount of the budget for each taxing district.
  3. The presence of voter-approved special levies and bonds.
  4. Possible exemptions on the properties.

PROPERTY TAX LIMITATIONS

Regular property tax levies are generally considered to be those levies that are subject to several statutory limitations.
The Assessor must adhere to the following statutory limitations:
• Levy limit (a.k.a., 101 percent)
• Statutory dollar rate limit
• Amount authorized by resolution/ordinance
• District budget
• $5.90 aggregate limit
• One percent constitutional limit
For more information, please visit “Homeowners Guide to Property Tax

 

THE ONE PERCENT CONSTITUTIONAL LIMIT

Washington Stateís Constitution limits the regular (non- voted) combined property tax rate applied to an individuals property to one percent (1 %) ($10.00 per $1,000) of market valuation. Voters may vote for special levies that are added to this figure. Special levies for schools are a common example.

THE LEVY LIMIT

The Levy Limit applies to a taxing districtís budget and not to increases in the assessed value of individual properties. Since 2001, taxing districts may collect a one percent (1%) increase in their regular, non-voted levy over the highest lawful levy amount from the previous year. The governing board of the district must pass a resolution authorizing this increase. New construction, annexations, and excess levies approved by the voters are not included in the levy limit. Therefore, a taxing districtís actual revenue Increase may be greater than one percent (1 %)

Contact any of the Commissioners by e-mailing commissioners.web@co.yakima.wa.us
or phone 574-1500 or fax (509) 574-1501.