How to Appeal the Assessed Value of Your Property
Factual Error Corrections – When an Appeal May Not Be Required
If you feel a mistake has been made in valuing your property, it is recommended that you contact the Department of Assessments directly before filing an appeal at (206) 296-7300 or Assessor.Info@KingCounty.gov. You can review your property parcel/account information online using eReal Property at Assessor-Online Services or with the Assessor’s staff to make sure an error has not been made.
It’s a good idea to review the characteristics the Assessor lists for your property to make sure important features such as the property’s parcel size, area of the improvements (residence), views, etc., are accurate. If your objection to the assessed value is that you are being valued high relative to assessments of other properties, please contact the Assessor's office, inequities among neighboring or similar properties cannot be changed by filing an appeal. This inequity may be due to errors in assessment records. If errors are discovered, the Assessor may be able to correct the data and the assessment without an appeal. However, if it is close to your filing deadline, you should file an appeal with the County Board of Appeals/Equalization (BOE) to preserve your due process rights. The BOE is an independent agency of King County and not affiliated with the Assessor so the BOE staff will not be able to answer questions about factual errors nor help correct the assessment records.
When to File an Appeal - Annual Valuation Notices
Appeals may be filed after, NEVER BEFORE, the Assessor completes the annual revaluation of property and taxpayers receive the Official Property Value Notice post cards. If you use eAppeals to file, you cannot file until after the Assessor provides the Official Property Value Notice.
Both real and personal property are revalued annually and new value determinations are mailed to taxpayers on Official Property Value Notice cards. The Department of Assessments typically begins sending out these revaluation cards in May, finishing the bulk mailings sometime in October. These new valuations will be the basis for the amount of taxes due the following year. For example, valuation notices sent during 2013 are the Assessor’s market value estimates as of January 1, 2013, which are the values that will be used to calculate the amount of taxes due for the 2014 tax year.
Filing Deadline - Within 60 Days of Mailing Date the Official Property Value Notice
Taxpayers who believe the assessed value of their property exceeds its fair market value have the opportunity to appeal each year following receipt of the revaluation notice by filing a petition to the King County Board of Appeals/Equalization (BOE), an independent King County agency, within 60 days of the mailing date printed on the Official Property Value Notice post card. DON’T MISS THE FILING DEADLINE!
Petitions must be received by the BOE on OR before July 1st of the assessment year OR within sixty (60) calendar days after the date listed on the Assessor’s value change notice – whichever date is later. Due to the timing of the revaluation notices, in most cases, the filing deadline will be 60 days from the mailing date listed on the notice. If submitted by mail, petitions must be postmarked by the post office no later than the filing deadline. If filed electronically using King County’s eAppeals
filing system the system will inform users if they fail to meet the deadline and allow filers to explain why the filing is late. The BOE will then make a final determination regarding whether to accept the appeal as timely.
How to Appeal
Filing an appeal with the BOE requires the submission of two sets of the BOE’s petition form (and any attachments) or filing online using eAppeals for filing a real property petition. To file online, visit eAppeals to learn about how property is assessed and file a real property appeal if you decide it is necessary. (Click here to review the online appeal process.) Otherwise, download the real property petition form or personal property petition form.
For the purposes of filing a complete appeal, as long as your petition includes sufficient information or statements to apprise the Board of the reasons why you believe the Assessor’s determination is incorrect, it is not necessary to include all the documentary evidence you intend to submit within your initial filing. The BOE is independent from the Assessor, so don’t assume the Board knows anything about how your property is described or valued by the Assessor. You must prove that the Assessor’s determination is incorrect and prove what is correct for the Board to rule in your favor. SUBMITTING YOUR PETITION TIMELY IS KEY. While it is recommended that you provide the evidence you will use to support your appeal as early as possible, additional evidence may be submitted up to seven (7) BUSINESS days before your future hearing, which is typically several months after you file the appeal. There is no charge for filing an appeal.
What Happens Next - Assessor’s Response to Your Appeal
When you submit your petition to the BOE, the staff processes your petition, sends you an acknowledgement letter, and forwards the copy of your petition to the Assessor’s Office for their review and response.
You should expect a response from the Assessor in two to six months, depending on the volume of appeals. Based on the evidence included within your petition, the Assessor may choose to recommend an adjustment in the assessed value. If this occurs and you agree to the Assessor’s stipulated or recommended value amount, the need for a hearing will likely be eliminated. About 20% to 25% of the petitions filed each year are resolved in this manner.
For additional information review Preparing Your Appeal and FAQ. Other helpful information is available from links located in the light blue section to the left.