Residential Remodels

When you decide to make home improvements through remodeling and additions, there is a three-year property exemption program available.


According to RCW 84.36.400, any physical improvements to a single-family dwelling upon real property** are exempt from property tax for three assessment years after the improvements are completed to the extent that the improvement represents 30% or less of the value of the original structure.

** Commencing with tax year 2021, physical improvements to a single-family includes constructing an accessory dwelling unit, whether attached to or within the single-family dwelling or as a detached unit on the same real property. 

"Physical improvement" means any addition, improvement, remodel, renovation, or structural enhancement that materially adds to the value of an existing single family dwelling. It is an actual, material, and permanent change that increases the value of the dwelling.

Physical improvement includes the addition of a garage, carport, patio, or other improvement to the dwelling that materially adds to its value.

Physical improvement does not include a swimming pool, outbuilding, fence, landscaping, barn, shed, shop, or other item that enhances the land upon which the dwelling stands, but is not common to or normally recognized as a structural component of a single-family dwelling.


How much is the reduction in assessed value?

The following example should be used only as a general guide and cannot be relied upon for any other purpose.

In 2019, a homeowner completed the addition of a family room and the renovation of the kitchen. These improvements cost the homeowner $60,000.


Assessor determines true & fair value of dwelling prior to improvements
$150,000
Assessor determines true & fair value of improved dwelling$200,000
30% of the unimproved dwelling (30% X $150,000 = $45,000)$45,000
Amount of Assessment Reduction:

The lesser of the following two numbers:

  • Difference between the value of the improved & unimproved dwelling ($200,000 - $150,000 = $50,000)
  • 30% of the unimproved dwelling ($45,000)


$45,000

The assessed value of the improved dwelling will be reduced by $45,000 for the next three assessment years (2020, 2021, and 2022).
  1. Qualifying Definitions
  2. Application Process
The homeowner must file a claim for the exemption with the Assessor before the improvements are completed. (NOTE: The homeowner may not claim this exemption more than once in a five-year period on the same dwelling.)


The following examples show how eligibility requirements for this exemption will be applied. These examples should be used only as a general guide and cannot be relied upon for any other purpose.

Example 1. The addition of a garage or carport to a single family dwelling may qualify for exemption because it may increase the value of and is compatible with the existing residential dwelling. Conversely, the construction of a swimming pool, shed, barn, or shop, which are not commonly attached to a dwelling, does not qualify for the exemption; even though the construction of such a structure may increase the value of the parcel as a whole.

Example 2. The replacement of a composition roof with a tile roof on a dwelling may qualify for exemption because a tile roof may increase the value of the dwelling. If the composition roof is repaired or replaced with the same type of composition roofing materials, the repair or replaced roof will not qualify for the exemption.