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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. If you are filing as a duly authorized agent, you will be asked to provide proper documentation to show the relationship.
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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. You may file your petition online by sending your paperwork to email@example.com, or by putting your paperwork in our drop box at 55 Second Street North (county legislative building) to file. You may also submit your petition paperwork by mail.
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 also submit your petition via email or via fax. 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.
If you have missed the filing deadline, you may file a request a good cause waiver with the Board of Equalization if you feel you meet the requirements of WAC 458-14-056 (3) or request to reconvene the Board under WAC 458-14-127 by filling out the appropriate form. You must be prepared to submit supporting documentation. The forms can be found here on the main page of the San Juan County Board of Equalization website. Once received, the Clerk will forward your request to the Board for review. The board clerk will notify you in writing of confirmation or denial of your 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 Board. 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.
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.
If you did not submit your documentary evidence at the time of filing your petition, your documentary evidence needs to be submitted to the Clerk of the Board and the Assessor’s Office at least 21 business days, excluding legal holidays, prior to your scheduled 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 per RCW 84.40.0301, the original value set by the assessor is 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" such as comparable sales data, cost data, income data, or any other items of evidence including maps or photographs, to support your estimate of value.
You will receive a written decision from the Board usually within 45 days of the hearing. The Board can either raise, lower, or sustain the Assessor’s value.
You may appeal the County Board's decision to the Washington State Board of Tax Appeals (BTA) by filing an appeal directly with the State within 30 days of the mailing of the County Board's decision. Forms are available online at the BTA's website. 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.