Filing a Petition
Petition Filing Instructions and Board of Equalization Requirements
For a successful appeal please thoroughly read all information provided, particularly in the section ‘Evidence’ : Reasons Not Considered
- Assessment comparisons of other property
- Percentage of value increases
- Personal hardship
- Amount of tax
- Other matters not directly related to the market value
The issue before the Board is the market value of your property. You need to furnish evidence that demonstrates that the Assessor’s valuation exceeds your property’s fair market value. State law requires the Assessor to value all taxable property at 100 percent of its true and fair market value, according to its highest and best use.
WAC 458-07-030 True and fair value -- Defined -- Criteria -- Highest and best use -- Data from property owner. (1) True and fair value -- Defined. All property must be valued and assessed at one hundred percent of true and fair value unless otherwise provided by law. "True and fair value" means market value and is the amount of money a buyer of property willing but not obligated to buy would pay a seller of property willing but not obligated to sell, taking into consideration all uses to which the property is adapted and might in reason be applied.
(2) True and fair value--Criteria. In determining true and fair value, the assessor may use the sales (market data) approach, the cost approach, or the income approach, or a combination of the three approaches to value. The provisions of (b) and (c) of this subsection, the cost and income approaches, respectively, shall be the dominant factors considered in determining true and fair value in cases of property of a complex nature, or property being used under terms of a franchise granted by a public agency, or property being operated as a public utility, or property not having a record of sale within five years and not having a significant number of sales of comparable property in the general area. When the cost or income approach is used, the assessor shall provide the property owner, upon request, with the factors used in arriving at the value determined, subject to any lawful restrictions on the disclosure of confidential or privileged tax information.
Successful forms of evidence may include: comparable sales and/or sales of the subject property; contractor estimates of costs to repair building or land defects; letters or documents describing easements that impact value; independent appraisals; photographs of feature and conditions that you believe diminish your properties market value; and maps showing proximity to high traffic areas, access limitations, etc.
Presumption of Correctness
When gathering evidence and formulating your arguments, it is important to keep in mind that, by law, the Assessor is presumed to be correct. The burden of proof is on you to show that the Assessor’s determination is incorrect. Evidence must be “clear, cogent and convincing”.
- FORMS: The Lewis County Board of Equalization accepts only Department of Revenue approved petition forms. Letters or other forms of appeal will not be accepted. (Real Property, Personal Property)
- ASSESSMENT YEAR: The assessment year begins January 1 and most assessments are based on sales prior to that date.
- FILING DEADLINES: The deadline for filing an appeal is July 1 or sixty (60) days after the mailing of the notice of value change. If filing after the deadline, it is required to include a copy of the notice you received from the Assessor for a valuation change or other determination to verify the postmark date.
- ACCURACY CHECKS: Double check the tax parcel number you enter on the petition. Be sure it contains 12 digits and that it is the correct parcel for the address/location you are appealing. Please be sure you are completing the correct form for the type of property you’re contesting. The property type (Real or Personal) is located on the Notice of Value Change, or other notice (letter) received from the Assessor
- MULTIPLE APPEALS: Only 1 parcel number is allowed on a petition. If you have other parcels you wish to appeal, you must submit each of them on a separate petition.
- POWER OF ATTORNEY: If you are not the owner but have been authorized to file a petition, the owner must either sign the POWER OF ATTORNEY area, or sign a letter of authorization that states the property name and/or parcel number, states the company or name of the authorized party, states for which year the party is authorized to petition and it must be dated.
- FILING: The original petition is are to be filed with the Board of Equalization. DO NOT mail or hand deliver any information to the Assessor unless instructed to do so.
The office of the Lewis County Board of Equalization is open weekdays, 8 AM - 5 PM.