Frequently Asked Questions

FILING DEADLINE NOTICE: The deadline for filing an appeal is July 1 of the assessment year or within 60 CALENDAR DAYS of when your Notice of Value was mailed. The appeal form must be complete and include a copy of your Notice of Value. The appeal must be received by the Board of Equalization office or postmarked within that 60 days. LATE APPEALS CANNOT BE ACCEPTED. (RCW 84.40.038)

ADDITIONAL EVIDENCE MUST BE PROVIDED TO THE BOARD OF EQUALIZATION OFFICE AND THE ASSESSOR'S OFFICE NO LATER THAN 21 BUSINESS DAYS PRIOR TO YOUR HEARING DATE.

** You must pay your taxes by the date they are due to avoid penalties and interest. After the appeal period of a Board of Equalization decision has passed, changes to the assessment will be entered into the system by the Assessor’s Office and the Treasurer’s Office will notify you of adjustments made to your taxes. **

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The Board's jurisdiction involves appeals of Assessor determinations, including:

  • Change in real and personal property values* [RCW 84.48.010]
  • Denials of senior citizen/disable persons exemptions [RCW 84.36.385]
  • Denials of senior citizen/disable persons exemptions [RCW 84.36.385]
  • Denials of home improvement exemptions [RCW 84.36.400]
  • Decisions regarding historic property [RCW 84.26.130]
  • Forest land classification determinations [RCW 84.33]
  • Current use determinations [RCW 84.34]
  • Destroyed property determinations [RCW 84.70.010]
  • Claims for either real or personal property tax exemptions [RCW 84.36.010]

* There is no provision in state law to directly appeal property taxes.

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The only way to appeal an Assessor's valuation of your property is by filing a complete appeal petition with the Board of Equalization in a timely manner. Filing is free. The appeal petition form must be used. A letter or phone call is not acceptable as a substitute for the petition form. The form must have an original signature and be physically filed within the statutory filing times.

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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. The appeal is filed with the Board of Equalization of the county in which the property is located.

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Forms can be downloaded from our Documents page.
(Click here to be taken to Documents page)

Appeal/petition forms are also available from the Board of Equalization:
Phone: 564-397-2337
Email: BOE@clark.wa.gov
Office: 1300 Franklin Street, Suite 650, Vancouver, WA 98660

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You must appeal between January 1 and July 1 of the current assessment year. If you receive a Notice of Value from the Assessor's Office, you have 60 calendar days from the date on that notice.  Be sure to count calendar days and not just two months. We do accept postmarks.

Petitioners may hand deliver the petition to the board and have it date stamped or you may submit by email to BOE@clark.wa.gov or by mailing the form to:

Board of Equalization
PO Box 5000
Vancouver, WA 98666-5000

Please do not wait until the last day to file an appeal. If appealing other Assessor determinations such as denial of an application of current use or removal of a classification from property, citizens have 30 days from the date of the mailing of notification.

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Contact the Assessor's Office to review valuation any time there is a question regarding property value. Property owners can often settle disagreements at this level without going to the appeal process. However, citizens still need to preserve their appeal rights by filing petitions on time with the Board of Equalization.

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The Assessor will send a notice when the assessed value of property changes. Most notices are received annually around June, though some are received in September or at other times. If your value does not change the Assessor is not required to send a notice. (A TAX BILL IS NOT A NOTICE OF VALUE.)
The Assessor's Office reviews properties each year and visits them in person every few years. After determining the value, the Assessor mails the taxpayer a Notice of Value/Change of Value Notice. The notice will show the assessed value of land and improvements separately. The total assessed value should not exceed the market value of the property.

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You can appeal your property assessment between January 1 and July 1 without receiving a Change of Value Notice.  This would be a preemptive filing in anticipation of being over valued until you actually know the new assessed value. Once you know the new assessed value you can leave your appeal filed, make changes on it, add to your file up to 21 business days prior to a hearing, or withdraw it if you are satisfied with the assessment.  If it is after July 1 of the assessment year and you have not received a Change of Value Notice you may qualify for a Request for Reconvening or a Good Cause Waiver.

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While many appellants are successful, your success is entirely dependent on the strength of your evidence. You must overcome the Assessor's presumption of correctness in order to prevail. Most appellants submit a mixture of recent comparable sales, repair bids ("costs-to-cure"), appraisal records, etc. Adjustments should be made to evidence to account for differences and timing, relevant to the subject property and the date of the assessment being appealed.

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A properly completed petition must include specific reasons why the property owner believes the Assessor's valuation is not correct and market evidence to prove what the value should be. The amount of tax, assessed value of other properties, percentage of assessment increase, personal hardship and other matters unrelated to the market value CANNOT, by law, be considered by the board.

Appeals must be filed on the provided appeal form and must be filled out completely. If filing after July 1, the appeal must include a copy of the Assessor's Notice of Value. Supporting evidence is best submitted with your original appeal submission, but CAN be submitted up to 21 business days prior to your hearing. Any evidence submitted after the initial filing must be submitted to the Board of Equalization AND the Assessor's Office.

Please see our Documents page for forms and helpful information about appealing, including advice on evidence-gathering:
(Click here to jump to our Documents page)

 

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State law requires the Assessor to value all taxable property at 100 percent of its true and fair market value, according to the highest and best use of the property. Market value is the amount of money a willing, unobligated buyer agrees to pay a willing and unobligated seller. The Assessor values real property using one or more acceptable appraisal methods: the market or sales comparison method; the cost approach; an income capitalization approach for income-producing property; or any combination of the three approaches.

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Hearings are scheduled by case number and can take anywhere from 2-12 months to receive a hearing. The Board cannot hold hearings prior to the Assessor's certification of assessment rolls, causing hearings to typically begin around October. The Board reviews roughly 100-150 cases per month, which can help provide a rough idea of where your case may fall in the hearing year. You can call us at 564-397-2337 to get an update on your place in line for a hearing.
The earlier you file your appeal, the lower your case number, the sooner your hearing date.

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At the hearing, you and the Assessor will each have an opportunity to give oral testimony and to expound on your submitted evidence in support of your opinions of value. You may even cross-examine one another and rebut the evidence. Hearings are audio-recorded.

The hearing is an informal review designed to enable property owners to represent themselves without an attorney. Keep in mind that the Assessor is, by law, presumed to be correct. The burden of proof is on you to show the assessed value is not correct by presenting clear and convincing evidence to support your estimate of market value. Attendance is not required. Even if no one is in attendance, the evidence submitted is still considered.

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You will usually receive a written decision from the Board of Equalization within 30 days of the hearing. The board can either raise, lower or sustain the Assessor's value.

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You may appeal the board's decision to the Washington State Board of Tax Appeals. Your appeal must be filed with the state within 30 calendar days of the mailing date of the County board's decision. You also may pay your taxes under protest and petition Superior Court for a refund by filing a lawsuit under RCW Chapter 84.68.

An appeal form for the Washington State Board of Tax Appeals is available on our Documents page:
(Click here to jump to our Documents page)

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The board has only limited reasons that they can be reconvened to consider assessments when an appeal was not filed by the deadline. One reason is if a new purchaser bought a property after July 1 and before December 31 of the assessment year (not tax year) and the sale price was less than 90% of the assessed value.

A Request for Reconvening form is available on our Documents page:
(Click here to jump to our Documents page)

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You must pay your taxes by the date they are due to avoid penalties and interest. After the appeal period of a Board of Equalization decision has passed, changes to the assessment will be entered into the system by the Assessor’s Office and the Treasurer’s Office will notify you of adjustments made to your taxes.
The appeals process does not put payments on hold.