Assessor's Office

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Assessor's Office

Assessor: David M. Thomas

General Information/Uniformity
The Washington State Constitution requires all taxes on real estate to be uniform within a taxing district. This requires all taxes imposed by any taxing district to be the same on property of the same market value. The one exception to this is for agricultural, timber, and open space land. The Constitution authorizes these lands to be valued on the basis of their current use rather than fair market value. The Department of Revenue is responsible for levying the state property tax for the support of common schools. Because of the different assessment practices and cycles in the various counties, the assessed value of property in a county may not equal 100 percent of the true and fair value of the property. To provide a uniform base upon which to impose the state property tax, the Department of Revenue equalizes the assessed values of the various counties to true and fair value. The State Constitution exempts all property of the United States and of the state, counties, school district, and other municipal corporations. The Legislature is authorized to exempt other property by general law. Major exemptions enacted by the Legislature include business inventories, household goods and personal effects, churches and their grounds, hospitals, and private schools and colleges.