Destroyed Property Exemption

‚Äč

Washington State law allows the Assessor to reduce the assessed value of damaged property as of the date of destruction when notified by the property owner. You may qualify for an adjustment to your assessed value if you have property that has been destroyed. 

 

Any real or personal property that has been placed upon the assessment roll as of January 1 of the assessment year in which the property was destroyed*, in whole or in part, or is in an area that has been declared a disaster area by the governor or the county legislative authority and has been reduced in value by more than 20 percent, may be eligible.

*While properties that are damaged or destroyed voluntarily are not eligible for the exemption, it is still important to contact the Assessor's Office as the damage may affect your property's assessed value and resulting taxes in the future.  

 

How does it work?

To receive consideration, you must submit an application to our office within three years from the date of destruction.  (Click HERE for the application) 

To help our office process your claim, the following supporting documentation can be submitted in addition to the form.  

Examples of the types of documentation include:

*Fire Investigation/Incident Reports

*Insurance Claim/Inspection Reports

*Licensed contractor repair bids

You may also submit photographs or any other supporting documentation that may be pertinent to your Destroyed Property claim.

 

Duty of the County Assessor

Upon receipt of a destroyed property application, the Assessor will determine if your property qualifies for a reduction, calculate the amount of reduction, and notify you of our determination.  If destroyed property is replaced prior to the valuation date of July 31 as contained in RCW 36.21.080(1) or RCW 36.21.090, the taxable value for that year shall not exceed the value as of the appropriate valuation date.

 

Abatement of Taxes

You may also be eligible for a partial refund of property taxes paid based upon the date of destruction and whether or not your property taxes are current. The Treasurer will process any abatement or a refund of property taxes and notify the taxpayer.

Taxes levied for collection in the year the assessed value has been reduced shall be abated in whole or in part.  The amount of abatement shall be determined by calculating the taxes on the amount deducted from the assessed value for the number of days that remained in the calendar year after the date of destruction or reduction in value of the property.  If taxes abated have already been paid, the amount paid shall be refunded. 

You are encouraged to pay your taxes when they become due, even if you are expecting an adjustment as a result of this claim, to avoid penalties and late fees levied by the Treasurer.

 

Appealing the Amount of the Reduction

If the taxpayer disagrees with the determination made by the county Assessor, an appeal of the amount of reduction may be sent to the County Board of Equalization within thirty (30) days of notification from the Assessor or by July 1 of the year of reduction, whichever is later.