Did you know that property tax laws can differ from state to state? That’s why we put together a new state-specific series called What You Need to Know About Property Tax. Each month, we’ll cover everything from property tax returns and exemptions to property tax appeals and valuations as they pertain to individual states. This month, we’re talking property tax in Washington.
What is property tax and why does it vary from state to state?
Property tax is a real estate ad-valorem tax, calculated by a local government and paid by the owner of the property. The tax is usually based on the value of the owned property and is used by the local governing body to fund numerous necessary governmental operations.
Property tax varies from state to state because the local governing bodies have control over how they implement the varying types of taxes. Sales, income, and excise taxes can also vary among states.
Property Tax Returns in Washington
Based on information gathered from the Washington State Department of Revenue, here is what you need to know regarding property tax returns in the Evergreen State.
When are property taxes due?
According to the DoR, Washington property taxes are due by April 30 and are considered delinquent and subject to one percent interest per month. If your taxes are still delinquent on June 1, you are subject to a three percent penalty. Interest continues to accrue until the taxes are paid in full. If you pay the first half of your taxes by April 30, but fail to pay the second half by October 31, the unpaid portion is subject to one percent interest per month. Any taxes still owing on December 1 are subject to an additional eight percent penalty.
All property taxes in the state of Washington are paid to the county treasurer’s office where the property is located.
Property Tax Breaks in Washington
If you are a qualified nonprofit organization conducting an activity specifically identified in Chapter 84.36 of the Revised Code of Washington, you may be exempt from paying property taxes. However, not every nonprofit is exempt as the list typically includes: schools, churches, cemeteries, hospitals, social service agencies, character building organizations, nursing homes, homes for the aging, museums, performing arts facilities, and public meeting halls.
Nonprofit organizations, while exempt from federal taxes, are not generally exempt from taxes in Washington. Typically, organizations must own and exclusively use their property to conduct an activity specifically exempted by the Legislature to qualify for the exemption.
Washington Property Tax Appeals
If your annual assessment seems to increase significantly year after year, it is possible to lower your bill by filing a property tax appeal. Properties are not always assessed correctly, and their values can change over time.
When filing a property tax appeal in Washington, it’s important to take note of the following:
- The deadline for filing an appeal is the latter of: July 1 of the assessment year, or within 30 days of when the Change of Value Notice was issued by the assessor’s office.
- The appeal form must include specific market reasons why you believe the assessor’s valuation is incorrect. Examples include a recent appraisal of your property, excessive deterioration, or sales of similar properties reflecting a lower value for your property.
- You still need to pay your property taxes when they are due. After your hearing, when the board of equalization has made their decision, the treasurer will notify you of any adjustment to your taxes.
To learn more about the general property tax appeal process, read How to Appeal Your Property Tax Assessment.
Trust MountainSeed to Manage Your Washington Property Tax Appeals
If you need help filing a property tax appeal, consider MountainSeed’s Commercial Property & Bank Branch Tax Appeal Business. Our highly experienced team is dedicated to managing the appeals process every step of the way. Best of all, we work on a contingency basis, so there’s zero upfront costs.
Throughout the years, MountainSeed has worked with over 600 financial institutions in addition to thousands of real estate owners. Our operational team has extensive experience in property tax appeal scenarios in states all over the country, so you can rest easy knowing that we have the experience and know-how to manage your appeal in Washington.