The King County Department of Assessments has sent out Official Property Value Notices to property owners or their appointed tax-payer agents. The notices contain the current (Old) tax year values (for taxes paid in 2014) and the New values for the coming tax year (2015). Real property parcels in University Park are in Subarea 1 of Assessment Area 44 which is bounded on the north at NE 65th, , by I-5 on the west, by the Ship Canal on the south and in the east by a series of line segments. The number of residential buildings (1-3 dwelling units) in Area 44 was 4,537 parcels each of which received the identical across-the-board increase of about 17.45% apportioned to both the land and improvement components of the property’s valuation.
Most, if not all, of the new valuations were sent out on 9/11/14. Appeals must be filed within 60 days of the mailing date which in this case the deadline would be Monday, November 10th. Preparation of an appeal petition is a tedious process but it need be neither lengthy nor complex. By law the County Assessors’ valuations are deemed correct and the burden for lowering an assessment falls entirely on the appellant. Once an appeal is undertaken, care must be exercised in the petition, however, as the appeal’s success depends upon it. Petitions may be filed as complete or they be filed in abbreviated form, i.e. delaying submission of comparable sales information until later. Appeals of valuation do not require or authorize any physical inspection of the appellant’s property.
The usual process involves finding a (different) set of recent sales that are comparable to the owner’s parcel in any number of characteristics that the local appeal board would find as or more appropriate for the parcel than sales selected by the Assessor. There is a semi-automated process (http://your.kingcounty.gov/Assessor/eSales/Welcome.asp) for public use that is based on some, but not all, of the parcels’ characteristics (lot size, total living space, etc.) which can be very helpful in screening the large number of sales over the two years 2012 and 2013 prior to the first day of the assessment year. Appellants present their reasoning for why they think the Assessor’s opinion of value is too high, the Assessor’s representative presents their view of the appropriateness of their opinion, and the Appellant has a brief opportunity for rebuttal. The hearing examiner arrives at an opinion and the results are then used for taxes to be paid the succeeding year.
The appeal process itself is described in some detail in the following links:
The particular characteristics of your real property can be found via this link:
Members deciding to file an appeal should consult the Club’s website occasionally until the November filing deadline in the event that further or new information is available. As the Club will not be able to assist members’ individual petitions, appellants should first consult the county websites for basic information about the appeal process. In this regard the Property Tax Advisor’s office (see above) can be especially helpful to first-time appellants.