Are Your Property Taxes Based on Market Values?

We usually get a couple of calls each year from clients who receive their property tax assessment notification with an assessed value that is above their market value.  This August, a good client of ours called because her assessed value was at least $50K over her home’s value and she needed some comparable sales to support her case.  This is the second time in 4 years that she has appealed her property taxes, most likely because she owns a home with very small square footage in a nice location (i.e. least expensive house on the block).  I’ve heard that it can be a slow process with a fair amount of “hoop jumping” and patience required, but she was successful the first time around and I am hopeful that she will be successful again.

In my experience, tax assessed values are rarely accurate.  It is actually more common for the values to be lower than market value by about 25% on average.  Although there are plenty of instances where they are above market (usually in view and waterfront areas).  Here is King County’s webpage outlining real estate tax assessments and how they are calculated.  Property taxes pay for important services like our schools, parks, water districts, emergency medical service and fire protection, among others, which are vital to the strength of our neighborhoods.
If you feel your tax assessment is incorrect and you want more information about the process, here are the guidelines for appeal.  We are always available to discuss your home value and help provide you with recent market data if you choose to appeal.
 
 
 
Warm Regards,

Domenica
Windermere Real Estate