Our mission is to serve the citizens of Skagit County by striving for the highest level in equity of assessment, efficiency of operation, and professionalism of our staff.
2020 ASSESSED VALUATIONS AMID COVID 19
The 2020 assessed valuations for taxes payable in 2021 have been certified and posted on the county website. In most areas of the county, residential values have increased from last year. Because our local economy has suffered dramatically from the COVID 19 pandemic, there may be confusion about increasing assessed values during an economic crisis. To improve understanding on how this can occur, I have listed key points pertaining to property assessment and taxation.
- The effective date of value each assessment year is January 1 for taxes payable the following year. The sales period used to establish market value indicators is May 1 of the prior year through April 30 of the assessment year. During this time, market sales for 2020 assessments indicated increasing values from the prior year.
- The key element to measure market value for assessment purposes is the assessment to sales price ratio. A ratio study performed each year compares the prior year ratio after certification of values to the current year ratio before any adjustments are applied. If that study results in a lower ratio, it indicates market values are increasing. If the result is a higher ratio, it indicates values are declining.
- The county real property ratio for 2019 was 92.4 percent. The preliminary ratio for 2020 prior to value adjustments was 85.7 percent. After adjustment and certification of values, the county ratio is 91.6 percent.
- Taxes for 2021 collection will be determined later in the year after tax districts complete their budget process. In most cases those budgets are restricted to a one percent increase from the prior year. In other cases voters approve a higher amount. Those budget amounts are set independent of values and except for the State School Levy Part 2, do not increase because values increase.
- Distribution of property tax is most equitable when assessed values reflect the market as of the effective date of assessment. It creates the level playing field whether values are trending up or down.
Mount Vernon property inspections to begin in August, 2020
All properties in the Mount Vernon School District are being revalued for the 2021 assessment year. Appraisers from the Assessor’s Office will inspect all commercial, farm and residential properties in the district. With the exception of properties issued building permits in the six years since, the last inspections for this area occurred in 2015.
In consideration of the COVID 19 environment, the majority of inspections will be limited to what can be observed from the street. Unless appraisers have questions about the property, our policy of announcing our presence by knocking on the front door is suspended. For properties that need verification of characteristics, we will knock then retreat to a safe distance. In those instances there will be a brief exterior walk-around of structures. In all cases new photos are taken. Appraisers will have face coverings, gloves and wear distinctive vests with Skagit County on the back and carry county identification cards. They drive white vehicles with the Skagit County emblem on the side. If you have questions or concerns, please contact the Assessor’s Office at 360 416-1780.
This is the result of a return to an equalized $2.70 rate from the temporary reduction of $2.40 in 2019. In addition, local E&O (formerly M&O) levies were allowed to increase from $1.50 to $2.50 per thousand subject to voter approval.
The 2017 legislative session passed an additional state school levy to address insufficient state funding as determined in the court case known as the McCleary Decision. The original legislation established the State School Levy Part 2 to increase funding to a rate of $2.70 per $1,000 of value for a four-year period. That rate varies for each county, adjusted through the equalization process the Department of Revenue applies based on the assessment ratio for each county.
After seeing initial revenue above predictions from the new levy, the 2018 legislature passed a one-year reduction to $2.40 per $1,000 of value. The original legislation also limited local school levies for E&O beginning in 2019 to $1.50 per $1,000, which in some districts resulted in less than half their prior year, E&O funding. The changes dramatically reduced state and local school taxes in 2019.
Some local districts passed new E&O levies in 2019 and others have new levies on the ballot this year to recover some of the local support lost in 2019. With assessed values continuing to rise in 2019, the State Levy increase will greatly impact most taxpayers. The individual property amounts will vary depending on the assessed value difference from last year.
Senior Citizen and Disabled Persons property tax exemption
The Senior Citizen and Disabled Persons property tax exemption helps reduce your property tax liability. The qualifying criteria for the program is based on your age and/or disability, residency and income. [more]
The 2019 state legislature passed ESSB 5160, which changed the income thresholds specific to each county based on percentage of the median household income of the county. The residency requirement has also changed to a minimum of nine months out of the year. As a result, Skagit County’s new income limits are as shown below:
|Levels of Reduction for 2020 Taxes*
||Percentage of Median Household Income
|A Income=0-$30,000 Exempt from regular property taxes on $60,000 or 60% of the valuation, whichever is greater, plus exemption from 100% of excess levies.
(based on $65,216*)
|B Income=$30,001-$35,869 Exempt from regular property taxes on $50,000 or 35% of the valuation, whichever is greater, not to exceed $70,000, plus exemption from 100% of excess levies.
(based on $65,216*)
|C Income=$35,870-$42,390 Exempt from 100% of excess levies.
(based on $65,216*)
|*Median household income reported by the Office of Financial Management
These new thresholds apply to 2019 income for tax relief in 2020. The new law provides adjustment to the income limits every five years. The Senior Citizen and Disabled property tax deferral program also has a new qualifying threshold of $48,912 (75% of median household income). For information on these tax relief programs, please see links to DOR publications on this site or call the Assessor’s Office at (360) 416-1780.
Information On Property Tax Procedures: 2020
About the Assessor's Office
The assessor acts as an agent for the Washington State Department of Revenue and is responsible for administering the property tax system for the county. This process involves establishing real and personal property values for distributing taxes for each tax district, as well as reviewing each tax district’s budget request to assure all legal requirements and limitations are met. The assessor also administers and monitors compliance for recipients of tax benefit programs, such as the Senior Citizen and Disabled Exemption program and the various Current Use programs for properties used for agriculture, timber and open space.
web site has been prepared to answer questions you might have about the property tax system in Skagit
County. There are no unique rules or R.C.W.'s in Skagit County.
tax system is designed to treat all taxpayers equally across the State
of Washington. My office works hard to treat everyone fairly and promptly.
In these pages you will find a group of commonly
asked questions about revaluations, the Board
of Equalization, values, levies, and an assortment of useful information.
I welcome any comments or suggestions you may offer for improving this website to better serve the needs of the users and citizens of Skagit County.
David M. Thomas
Skagit County Assessor
Assessor Sales Data.
This tool will enable you to search valid sales dating back three
years and is illustrated by a colored legend to associate the year of
the sale. This tool is built into Imap and you can select other layers
or views if you prefer. The details for a selected parcel will appear
in a new window.
can view the Sales Data iMap layer here.
Assessor: Dave Thomas
Office Hours: 8:30 to 4:30 Mon - Fri
700 South 2nd Street, Room 204
Mount Vernon, WA 98273
Phone: (360) 416-1780
FAX: (360) 416-1790