The quick answer is unfortunately no. Secondly, I would point out that I am not an expert in describing the equations used to calculate and adjust valuations and would encourage you to visit the county website (www.sanjuanco.com) or obtain this year’s Assessments booklet that is provided by the Assessors office. The basic principle is that the County can collect a maximum amount of taxes and that these taxes are distributed across the value of the property of the County to determine the rate, or levy imposed. While the value of the property went down 40%, there is a re-distribution of the taxes, not a one for one reduction. Again I encourage you to get information directly from the County Assessors office.
No, it’s unlikely your taxes will go down by 40%, although it is possible that your (meaning an individual’s) taxes may go down somewhat, while for others their taxes may go up. The Washington State system recognizes that property values can fluctuate but services demanded by its citizens do not. Therefore, when the property values change, whether they go up or down, the corresponding rate changes so that there is consistent revenue. In other words, the tax rates are adjusted to achieve a comparable amount of revenue.
Your taxes will not go down by the same amount that your assessed value went down. The process for determining the amount of real estate taxes that we pay is determined by multiplying the mill rate (the amount per $1,000 of value) by the assessed value. State law states that counties may increase by 1% each year the total revenue collected from property taxes on property other than new development. The amount collected is determined by multiplying the total assessed value for the county by the mill rate. When assessed values go down, the mill rate goes up in order to meet that total revenue calculation. Within that calculation, some property owners may see a slight decrease in taxes, while others might see a slight increase.
I urge you to ask the Assessor for information about your property taxes. My understanding is that just because your property value went down 40% this year, that does not mean that your taxes will go down 40%. Tax collections do not correspond directly with changes in assessed property values. Property tax collections are based on the millage rate for the various taxes collected (and the millage rates can be adjusted each year) as applied to assessed property valuations.
No. Taxes are based on Budgets. The only way taxes will decrease is if spending decreases. In setting budgets, the Council needs to remember that our county’s primary responsibilities are “Public Safety (Public Works), Health, and Law & Justice”. I am fiscally conservative, but socially aware. I will work hard to make sure the needs of our citizens come first.