Asotin County Assessor
135 2nd Street
P.O. Box 69
Asotin, Washington 99402
Phone (509) 243-2016
FAX (509) 243-2099
Quick Links to Assessor's Page:
Welcome to the
Asotin County Assessor website.
Information on this website has been prepared to help you better understand
the functions of the Assessor office. The information here will assist
you, as a property owner and taxpayer, in understanding assessment
procedures, tax collection and the distribution of tax dollars. It is the
responsibility of the Assessor to ensure that all
property owners in Asotin county are treated fairly and impartially in accordance with
prescribed appraisal standards and state law. We hope you
find the information on this website informative and helpful. If you have
questions or comments, please contact the Assessor office at 135 Second
Street (old courthouse) in Asotin, or call us at (509) 243-2016. Our office
hours are 9:00am-12:00 and 1:00pm-3:00pm Monday through Friday.
Staff – Asotin County Assessor
Van Kirk (Mapping,
Lot Splits, Boundary Changes)
Assistant Tula Leavitt (Personal
Property Taxes, Senior Exemptions)
Van Pelt-Wood & Greg Van Kirk (Residential)
What does the Assessor do?
property tax system is a budget-based system. This means taxing districts
first determine how much property tax they will collect in accordance with
the law, and the tax obligation then is distributed among property owners
based on the assessed value of the property they own. The Assessor’s role
is in the second step.
determines the assessed value of all real property in Asotin county, as well
as the personal property of businesses, for tax purposes. The Assessor also
determines levy rates for taxing districts whenever levies are approved by
voters, using assessed values of property within prescribed taxing districts
for that purpose. State law requires the Assessor to assess property at its
value. It is the Assessor’s responsibility to determine the fair full market
value of all real property in the county for the purpose of making a
uniform, fair and equitable determination of tax liability to the taxpayers.
This is done by using prescribed practices and procedures used in the
appraisal profession, and appraisers in the Assessor office are accredited
by the Washington State Department of Revenue. Our appraisers use standard
and accepted appraisal principles, in use statewide and nationwide, to
arrive at an estimate of market value. The Assessor values real property on
a cyclical basis according to a revaluation plan filed with the Department
of Revenue. Asotin county is on a four year revaluation program. The
Asotin County Assessor sets values on approximately 14,000 parcels of real
property for tax purposes.
also keeps track of ownership changes, adjusts boundary descriptions
according to recorded documentation and keeps descriptions of building and
property characteristics up to date. The Assessor maintains thousands of
records in its office, including maps and aerial survey photos. Records in
the Assessor office are open to the public.
How are property taxes determined?
Asotin county is divided into several different “taxing districts” and each
district has its own property tax rates. Each taxing district is unique due
to the differing components that comprise property taxes — such as school
levies, fire protection districts, county roads, EMS, etc. Depending on
their taxing district, property owners in Asotin county currently pay from
$10.20 to $13.81 per thousand dollars of assessed property value. Your tax
is determined by multiplying the tax rate for your district by the total
assessed value of your property per thousand. In other words, if your total
tax rate is $12.40 per thousand, and your home is assessed at $130,000, the
tax rate is multiplied times 130 to determine the total tax ($12.40 X 130 =
What types of property are taxed?
Taxable property is divided into two classes.
property includes land
and all the buildings, structures and improvements to the land. This is the
kind of property tax familiar to most people. Property tax also applies to
used in the conduct of a business. Personal property includes machinery and
equipment, fixtures, furniture, tools and other items used for business
purposes, including leased equipment such as copiers and communications
equipment. It also includes such things as farm machinery and equipment,
logging equipment and the assets of manufacturing companies.
More on personal property taxes.
Tax assessments on personal property are based on information provided by
the taxpayer to the Assessor using prescribed forms. These forms provide a
format for providing a description of the personal property, its total cost
and year of acquisition. The Assessor uses this information to determine
value – taking into consideration the type of property, its cost and age.
Listings are mailed to established personal property accounts the first of
each year and must be returned to the Assessor by April 30. Periodically,
the state Department of Revenue conducts audits of businesses subject to
taxes on personal property. Businesses that do not have a personal property
account number assigned to them should contact the Assessor office.
Penalties apply to late submissions or failure to file information with the
Assessor office. If you decide to sell or close your business, please
contact us. More information about personal property taxes is provided in
the Department of Revenue’s publication,
Personal Property Tax.
Can I appeal an assessed value?
If you have concerns regarding your property valuation, you may contact the
Assessor’s office. Property owners can often settle disagreements at this
level without filing a formal appeal. Any property owner who disagrees with
the property value determined by the Assessor has the right to appeal that
determination to a Board of Equalization comprised of an independent body of
citizens that hears and decides appeals related to property valuation.
A petition for
appeal must be filed on or before July 1 of the current assessment year, or
within 30 days of the mailing of the notice of valuation change, whichever
is later. You must complete an appeal petition — a letter or telephone call
will not suffice. Appeal forms and instructions can be obtained by
contacting the Assessor’s office. You can read or download the publication
Appealing Your Property Tax Assessment to the County Board of Equalization.
The appeal process is informal and does not require an attorney. The
property owner is required to submit clear, cogent and convincing evidence
that the appraised value does not reflect market value. Statements that the
Assessor’s valuation is “too high” or property taxes “are excessive” are not
sufficient. Evidence should include sales of comparable properties, or
information on conditions of the property not known to the Assessor. If an
appellant is not satisfied with the determination made by the Board of
Equalization, an appeal can be made to the State Board of Tax Appeals.
What exemptions are available for homeowners?
Full or partial exemptions from property taxes are available to senior
citizens and disabled persons. If you are 62 years of age or older
or disabled, own the
house in which you live, and have an annual household income of $35,000 or
less, you may be entitled to an exemption from paying property taxes on your
primary residence. The Assessor administers this program and is responsible
for determining if you meet the qualifications. For information or to apply
for an exemption, contact the Assessor office. A publication titled
Property Tax Exemption for Senior Citizens and Disabled Persons
is available online.
eligible for the exemption are required to notify the Assessor’s office if
changes in income or living circumstances affect the exemption. Change in
status includes death (survivors
must notify assessor),
change in income, sale of the property, or change in primary residence. A
surviving spouse or domestic partner may continue to receive the exemption
if he or she is at least 57 years old and meets all the other eligibility
purchase property that is currently receiving a tax exemption, that
exemption may not continue to apply to you or the property. Contact the
Assessor’s office to determine the exemption status, whether or not the
exemption would continue under your ownership, or to determine the tax
consequences of purchasing a property that is receiving a tax exemption.
How are my tax dollars being used?
Determining property values and assessing property taxes is the
responsibility of the Assessor. As you might imagine, it’s not the most
popular job in the county. It is, however, one of the most important.
Property taxes help fund our schools, libraries, roads, parks, fire and
police protection, emergency medical and other essential services. Even so,
paying property taxes is probably not one of your favorite activities.
That’s understandable. It can, however, be a little easier if you know what
you get in return for your tax dollars.
The cost of
state and local government determines how much property tax will be levied.
These include the operating costs of county government, as well as other
taxing districts such as library, hospital, fire, sewer, and port districts.
Property taxes also go to pay off bonds for the capital costs and expenses
of voter approved projects such as schools, EMS, etc.
are distributed to a wide range of services throughout Asotin county. A
portion also goes to the state. Within Asotin county, schools, road
districts and emergency medical services are major recipients. County
services also are funded, including law enforcement and jails, prosecuting
attorney office, superior and district courts, health district, as well as
the offices of the Assessor, Auditor, Treasurer, Clerk and the department of
public works. The revenues collected from property taxes are the largest
source of income and provide almost half the revenue in Asotin county’s
general fund. Other sources of income range from receipts for sales taxes to
court fines. Following is a breakdown of the county services paid for by
property taxes in Asotin county. Most goes to schools, and a large portion
goes to the state. 21.73% of property tax dollars go to county government.
Of that, 5.37% goes to county road maintenance and construction and the
remaining 16.36% goes to the county’s general fund to pay for the services
County Tax Dollars
Distribution by Percentage
How often are properties revalued?
Asotin County and 16 other counties in Washington state (of
39 total counties)
currently do not revalue property annually. Asotin County is on a 4-year
revaluation cycle. This means that all property must be revalued
every four years. Revaluation can be done more frequent if circumstances
warrant. Pursuant to a law passed by the state legislature in 2009, a change
to annual revaluation by all counties must begin by not later than January
1, 2014. Thereafter, all property in all counties in Washington state will
be appraised annually to reflect current market value. This will result in
smaller increases in assessed value than Asotin county property owners have
experienced in the past with the 4-year revaluation cycle. It will also
allow us to adjust property values downward if there is a change in the
market, instead of the value being "fixed" for a 4-year period.
revaluation, as opposed to revaluation every 2, 4 or 6 years, will improve
the level of assessment, uniformity and predictability. The level of
assessment improves when the tax burden is distributed more equitably. This
is particularly important for countywide levies such as the state school
levy and county levies. Predictability improves because increases in values
that result from a 4-year cycle are difficult for taxpayers to understand
and accept and results in the area that has just been revalued carrying a
larger share of some taxes than other areas. Uniformity improves because all
property is assessed every year at market value, which is particularly
important if market values begin to decline. Assessed values are no longer
"fixed" for 4 years.
About the Current Use
The Open Space Taxation Act of 1970 allows
property owners to have their farm and agricultural land, timber land, or
open space land valued at their “current use” rather than at their highest
and best use. The assessor maintains two values for each parcel that is
classified in the current use program. The first is the value that would be
placed on the land if it was not so classified. This is commonly referred
to as the “fair market value.” The second is the current use land value
based on its present use, and there is a statutory process for determining
the value of lands in the current use program. Land classified in the
current use program benefits from a reduced valuation and lower taxes.
A property owner may
apply for current use assessment under the open space law, or apply for
continuation of current use assessment if acquiring property already so
classified. Application forms are available from the county assessor’s
office. The owner of land in current use classification must continue to
meet the criteria established for qualification, or the assessor may remove
the land from the current use classification.
The assessor has
statutory authority to require the owner of land classified in the current
use program to submit data regarding the use of the land, productivity of
crops, income and expense data, and other similar information regarding
continued eligibility. If land is withdrawn from the current use
classification, it is subject to an additional tax equal to the difference
between the amount of tax paid under the current use classification and the
tax that would have been paid at true and fair value for the last seven
years, plus interest and penalties.
information about the current use program, please read the
Open Space Taxation Act
publication prepared by the Taxpayer Services Division of the Washington
State Department of Revenue.
What are my rights and responsibilities?
Whether you are a homeowner, a land owner or a business owner, you are also
a Washington State taxpayer with specific rights and responsibilities. As a
taxpayer, it is important to understand your rights and your
responsibilities. First, you have the right to timely, fair and equitable
treatment with dignity and respect. You have the right to accurate
information, appeal procedures and reasons for assessment. And you have the
right to a simple and prompt administrative process for hearings and tax
refunds and credits.
property owner in the county pays property taxes. It is how the state,
counties and cities get much of the funding for public services. What
responsibilities do you have as a property owner? Most importantly, paying
property taxes. Property taxes are due twice each year. The first half is
due on April 30 and the second half on October 31. These taxes are payable
to the county Treasurer. If taxes are not paid on time, interest and
penalties will be charged as prescribed by law. If you have questions
valuation of your
property for tax purposes, contact the Assessor’s office. For questions
billing or payment
of property taxes, please contact the office of the Asotin County Treasurer.
About the Department of Revenue.
The Washington State Department of Revenue (DOR) is the state agency charged
with the responsibility of statewide administration of the property tax
system. The Property Tax Division of DOR has broad statutory authority for
the administration of assessment and tax laws, including authority over
Assessors, county commissioners, and other county officials in the
performance of their duties relating to taxation. DOR also prescribes
specific rules and processes for the assessment of real and personal
property. An overview on property taxes is contained in DOR’s publication
Homeowner’s Guide to Property Taxes.