They want how much?!
Posted by Liberty on November 12, 2008
I received a Property Value Change Notice in the mail yesterday and when I saw what Skagit County has assessed our property at for our 2009 taxes, my jaw literally dropped. Needless to say, it was a much bigger number that we could have expected. I tried to call the county to ask if perhaps there had been a mistake but it was 4:20 pm and that may have been a little too close to quitting time for the county employees to answer the phone. So then I dug out all the Property Value Change Notices we’ve received since we purchased this property. A little bit of quick math showed that, according to Skagit County, the assessed value of our property has risen by 47.5% from 2004 to the 2009 tax year. Interesting!
Using the Skagit County website, I was able to pull up a 15 year history of the valuation of this property and the taxes paid each year. In past years, there have been several instances where the value did not increase from year to year and there were even a couple of times when taxes were lower than the year immediately prior. Unfortunately, that has only happened for us one time–we paid $40.43 less in 2006 than we did in 2005. 2006 aside, our taxes have risen. In 2009, our property taxes will be over $500 more than they were in 2004.
I understand and accept that property taxes are part of owning property. It’s just interesting how quickly that valuation has jumped up–especially when all you hear in the news these days is how bad the real estate market is. I’ll be doing some more research to find out how the real estate market really has been doing in our area and how much this house is really worth. If you’ve received one of these notices, examine it closely! If you don’t think that the assessed value of your property is fair and accurate, you have the right to appeal it.
Incidentally, when people say that schools in Washington are underfunded, I usually don’t believe them. Confirmation for that came on my 2008 tax statement. Our home is quite modest and yet over $650.00 of our property taxes went to the local school district. That doesn’t count all of the state taxes that we pay that go towards education. In my opinion, the problem is how schools are spending the money, not how much property owners are paying. But, that’s another post for another day.