Change of Value Notices
2020 Change of Value Notices Mailed on October 1st, 2020
The Assessor mailed the Change of Value Notices for the assessment year 2020 on October 1st.
By State law, the Assessor is required to value property at 100% market value. The Assessor's Office analyzed real estate transactions that occurred between January 1st, 2019 through April 30th, 2020. Your property value reflects the real estate market as of the January 1, 2020 assessment date.
Below are highlights of the 2020 assessment year:
- The total assessed value for San Juan County increased more than $200 million over last year, including $109 Million in new construction value.
- The on-site inspection cycle included 2,731 properties on the west half of Orcas Island all of Waldron, Crane, and the Wasp Island.
The Change of Value Notice is not a tax bill. An increase in value does not mean that next year's property taxes will increase at a proportionate rate. The 1% Property Tax Limitation works to protect taxpayers. Tax rates will be available by mid-January 2021.
NOTE: If your appraised property value did NOT change from the prior year, you will not receive a Change of Value Notice from the Assessor's Office. To obtain the most recent appraised value, go to the SJC Property Search and enter your Property ID (4 - 5) digits of your Tax Parcel Number (12 digits). You may also request your appraised value from the Assessor's Office by email, Assessor or call 360-378-2172.
Change of Value Notices were mailed on October 1st, 2020
A Change of Value Notice informs the property owner of the appraised value, property description and if the property qualifies of tax deferrals or tax reductions. A Change in Value Notice is not a tax bill. An increase in value does not mean that next year's property taxes will increase at a proportionate rate. The 1% Property Tax Limitation works to protect taxpayers.
If your appraised property value did NOT change, you will not receive a Change of Value Notice.
How to Read your Change of Value Notice
Box 1 represents the previous and new market valuation of your property. This is called your "appraised value". In Washington state, the Assessor is required to assess at 100% of the market value.
If you have amounts in Box 2, this means that you are in the Current Use or Designated Forest Land Programs. The property owners in these programs agree to defer the payment of taxes in exchange for using the land for farming, natural preserve, managed forestry, etc. In most cases, the "Total" amount in Box 2 is your the total base for taxes (assessed value).
If you have amounts in Boxes 3a and 3b, this means that you are in the Senior Citizens and Disabled Persons Program. This tax relief program is income-based and is a tax-shift to other members of the community.
The Taxable In-Program amount is the lesser of the market value (Box 1) and your "frozen" (capped) value. If you have more than 5 acres, business-use of your home or a rental on your property, you will have an amount in Taxable Non-Program. The Taxable Non-Program amount reflects the market value and is not part of the tax relief program.
As a participant in the Senior Citizens and Disabled Persons Program, your taxes are reduced based on your level of income (Tier 1, 2 or 3). The amount of value reduction is presented in Box 3b.
Total Base for Real Property Taxes (Assessed Value):
The amount that appears in this box is your assessed value and is one of the elements used to calculate your 2021 tax amount.
State law requires that assessors appraise all taxable property within the county at 100% of its true and fair market value, according to the highest and best use of the property.
Fair market value, or true value, is the amount of money that a willing and unobligated buyer is willing to pay a willing and unobligated seller.
The Assessor's Office reviews each parcel sold in San Juan County. The purpose of the review is to gain information regarding the nature of the sale and the characteristics of the property. The Assessor's Office uses only the sales between an unobligated buyer and seller to be part of its sales data collection.
The San Juan County real estate market has been steadily improving over the last few years. By State law, the Assessor is required to value all taxable property at 100% of its true and fair market value.
By comparing the market sales with our appraised values, we determine when valuation increases or decreases are necessary to maintain market values.
Below is a summary of how market sales are used to determine your property value:
- The Assessor's Office groups similar properties into "neighborhoods".
- The Assessor's Office reviews the market sales for each neighborhood.
- The Assessor's Office adjusts the value of the entire neighborhood to reflect the market sales in each neighborhood. This method of appraisal is called "Mass Appraisal".
The Assessor's Office reviewed a total of 506 sales transactions from January 1st, 2019 through April 30th, 2020.
The objective of reviewing market sales by neighborhood is to improve the consistency of the values. The benefit to property owners is the knowledge that they are being treated the same as other property owners.
The valuation of your property is adjusted, upwards or downwards, based on the market sales data.
To perform a sales search on the Assessor's website, please read HOW TO PERFORM SALES SEARCH THE SAN JUAN COUNTY WEBSITE. Please save the instructions to your computer.
Property owners who disagree with their assessed value may appeal to San Juan County Board of Equalization (BOE). The board reviews appeals and issue orders either sustaining the assessor’s determination, reducing the assessment, or increasing the assessment based on the facts the taxpayer and the assessor present.
If you do not agree with the value of your property, please do the following:
Step 1: Contact the Assessor’s Office between 10:00 AM and 4:00 PM
- Phone: (360) 378-2172
- E-mail: The Assessor
Disagreements of property values are often settled at this level.
Step 2: If you are unable to reach an agreement with the Assessor’s Office, you may file an appeal with the Board of Equalization (BOE). Petition forms are available by contacting the Clerk of the Board of Equalization.
- E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Mailing Address: 350 Court Street #2, Friday Harbor, WA 98250
Forms are available for download on the BOE website
Completed petition forms must be submitted to the BOE within 30 days of the Change of Value Notice.