Filing an Appeal
This page contains some brief answers to some commonly asked questions regarding
the San Juan County property valuation appeal process. Also included is some information
that will assist you in completing the appeal petition.
How Can I Appeal the Assessed Valuation of My Property?
The only way to appeal an assessor's valuation of your property is by timely filing
a complete appeal petition with the San Juan County Board of Equalization. There
is no fee charged for filing an appeal. The appeal petition form must be used. A
letter or phone call is not acceptable as a substitute for the petition form.
Who May File an Appeal?
A property owner or "taxpayer" may appeal. Taxpayer means the person or entity whose
name and address appears on the assessment rolls, or their duly authorized agent.
What is the Deadline for Filing a Petition?
July 1st of the current assessment year or within 30 days of when the "San Juan
County Change of Value Notice" was mailed by the Assessor's Office. If you mail
your petition, it must be postmarked by midnight of the deadline. You may hand deliver
the petition to the Clerk of the Board of Equalization. If you are appealing other
Assessor determinations, for example, denial of an application for Open Space or
a removal from the Open Space program by the Assessor, you also have 30 days from
the date of the mailing of notification.
Should I Contact the Assessor's Office?
Contact the Assessor's Office to review your valuation any time you have a question
regarding your property value. Property owners can often settle disagreements at
this level without continuing the appeal process. However, you still need to preserve
your appeal rights by timely filing your petition with the Board of Equalization.
You can withdraw your petition at any time prior to a hearing.
What Information Must I Provide for a Completed Petition?
The petition form has clear directions attached. Your properly completed petition
must include specific reasons why you believe that the assessor's valuation is not
correct. The amount of tax, the percentage of assessment increase, personal hardship,
and other matters unrelated to market value cannot, by law, be considered by the
Include the parcel number of the property you are appealing on. A separate petition
must be completed for every individual parcel. Also include the Assessor's determination
of value, other appraisal information, your estimate of value, recent sales of comparable
properties, or other supporting information for your appeal. Be sure to indicate
if you intend to submit additional evidence prior to the hearing.
When Will I Have A Hearing?
The Clerk of the Board of Equalization will notify you of the location, date, and
time that your hearing is scheduled. A reasonable accommodation for scheduling is
possible. You are not required to be present at your appeal hearing.
What Can I Expect at the Hearing?
You and the Assessor will each have an opportunity to give oral testimony and written
evidence in support of your opinions of value. You may cross examine each other
and rebut evidence. The hearing is an informal review designed to enable property
owners to represent themselves without an attorney. Keep in mind that the Assessor
is, by law, presumed to be correct. The burden of proof is on YOU to show that the
assessed value is not correct by presenting a standard of "clear, cogent and convincing
evidence" to support your estimate of value.
How Soon Will I Receive a Decision from the Board of Equalization?
You will receive a written decision from the Board usually within 60 days of the
hearing. The Board can either raise, lower, or sustain the Assessor's value.
What if I'm Not Satisfied With the Board of Equalization's Decision?
You may appeal the County Board's decision to the Washington State Board of Tax
Appeals by filing an appeal directly with the State within 30 days of the mailing
of the County Board's decision. Forms are available from the Clerk of the Board.
You may also pay your property taxes "under protest", (consult with the San Juan
County Treasurer's Office for direction) and petition the Superior Court for a refund
by filing a lawsuit under Chapter 84.68 RCW.