Please read your notice for the exact date. If you have any questions about your new value or there are any issues, which we might not be aware of, please call our office. We will have sales lists upon which the new values were based on our website (www.co.pacific.wa.us) or we can send you a hard copy if you don’t have access to the internet. If after talking to us you still disagree with the new value you may petition to the Board of Equalization for a hearing.
Assessed values used to set the rates for property taxes are a little confusing since the new assessed values are based solely on sales that occurred PRIOR to January 1, 2013 with extra weight put on sales which occurred in 2012. Your new assessed value for taxes to be collected in 2014 is what we have computed using sales from 2011 and 2012 and answer the question; “If your property would have been one of those which sold prior to January 1, 2013, what is the most likely price it would have sold for.”
Prior to 2010 we used only arm’s length (willing seller, willing buyer) sales but due to the downturn in the economy and efforts of the Washington Assessors Association we have been allowed by the state to include foreclosure sales and short sales in our calculations.
Mass appraisal for tax purposes is the process of valuing large numbers of properties as of a given date.
Standard appraisal procedures are used to collect, analyze and apply sales data. We review all the sales in an area, throw out the extreme high and low sales (called outliers) and adjust the remaining sales so that they are grouped as close to 100% of their actual sales prices as possible. Example: 4 comparable houses sell for $90,000, $100,000, $105,000 and $95,000; the median (middle) point of all these sales would be $97,500. We would adjust the assessed values on these properties so that the new values for each would be around $96,000. We then apply these adjustments to other similar properties, which have not sold. This is an extremely simplified example of the calculations.
Pacific County has been on an annual revaluation cycle for two years and now has six physical assessment areas. Each year we physically inspect one of the assessment areas and note any changes in land or building characteristics, which might affect a property’s value. The other 5/6ths of the county not physically inspected is statistically updated using actual sales of comparable properties. This year the
inspection cycle included Ilwaco, Long Beach and the oceanfront south of 290th St and west of Highway 103.
Please remember that by law the calculations we used to determine your new values do not reflect current listing prices, sales that have occurred in 2013, how many properties in an area are for sale or how long a property was on the market before selling. The new values are set ONLY using sales prior to January 1, 2013.
Editor’s Note: This article first appeared on www.hometowndebate.com 5/21/13. If you would like to respond to this story go to hometowndebate.com