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JEFFERSON COUNTY TAXABLE PROPERTY VALUES UPDATED FOR 2023 TAXES
State law requires every county to appraise taxable property each year at 100% of fair market value. Jefferson County accomplishes this by a focused re-inspection of one sixth of the County each year. The other five sixths are updated through a combination of statistical sales analysis and inspections of areas needing a more detailed approach. The physical re-inspection area this year is the Port Ludlow area of the Chimacum School District (Shine to south Oak Bay including the Port Ludlow MPR). The Assessor’s Office has completed their 2022 inspections and market analysis and is in the process of mailing out change of value notices (COV) for the majority of properties in Jefferson County. These values will be used for calculating 2023 taxes.
Property owners may discuss their assessed values with the Assessor’s appraisers if they believe the value is not reflective of market value. Appraisers can adjust a value within the 30 days after COVs are sent if they feel there is additional information that was not considered. Property owners may also choose to file an appeal with the Jefferson County’s Board of Equalization (BOE) by the end of the 30-day window from the date of notice. Changes made as a result of BOE decisions will be reflected in revised 2023 tax statements, should decisions be determined after tax statements are mailed next February.
This is a period of notably high valuation increases due to the real estate market sales escalations on top of inflationary increases over the last few years. Statewide, the Office of Financial Management puts the median home value increase at 23.9% in 2021. Since most of the tax districts’ levies are budget based with a limit to statutorily allowed increases in taxes, levy rates will be falling to offset the value increases. For example, a 20% increase in value could mean a 5% increase in taxes depending upon location. Taxes will be determined at the end of 2022 after budgets are set and before 2023 tax statements are mailed.
If you have questions on this process, please do not hesitate to contact the Jefferson County Assessor’s Office by phone at 360-385-9105, in person at 1820 Jefferson St. (Courthouse), or by mail at P.O. Box 1220, Port Townsend, WA 98368.
REINSPECTION OF PORT LUDLOW, SHINE, AND SURROUNDING PROPERTIES
This year (2022), appraisers from the Assessor’s Office are performing re-inspections of our Cycle 3 properties, also identified as the properties within the southern portion of the Chimacum School District. This presents us the opportunity to make more detailed adjustments to individual properties in order to maintain neighborhood equity, which is important for both this and the following statistical 5 years. In general, values change at the same rate for a neighborhood whether performed statistically or through reinspection. Physical re-inspections give us more detailed control.
Due to the number of re-inspections to be performed, our appraisers are not able to notify owners beforehand on when they will be in their neighborhoods. We take every precaution we are able to, both to not surprise property owners as well as to avoid any activity that puts anyone at risk for COVID transmission. We follow all COVID recommended protocols.
Later in the year, property owners in Jefferson County will be mailed change of value notices reflecting any change in assessment.
RESULTS FROM 2021 VALUATIONS
Change in Value Increases 2020 to 2021 (for 2022 taxes) (all properties including vacant land):
Port Townsend 10.26%
Fire District 1 Less PT (Tri-area, Kala Point, Cape George, North Quimper) 9.88%
Fire District 2 (Quilcene) 12.69%
Fire District 3 (Port Ludlow/Shine) 9.52%
Fire District 4 (Brinnon) 7.31%
Fire District 5 (Discovery Bay) 14.66%
Median residential home assessed values (1/1/2021) are:
Brinnon 263,306 (6.27%*)
Quilcene 296,794 (14.32%*)
Tri-Area 322,061 (8.43%*)
Gardiner 419,233 (20.85%*)
Port Townsend 385,158 (7.82%*)
North Quimper Unincorporated 424,923 (9.74%*)
Port Ludlow 456,704 (7.94%*)
Marrowstone Island 499,076 (7.99%*)
Countywide 388,313 (9.75%*)
* Increase over 1/1/2020 value
Average tax changes in 2022 for residential properties are ranging from an increase of 1.4% in Port Ludlow and Marrowstone to an increase of 20.7% in Gardiner (includes new voted Sequim SD Capital Project levy).
If you have questions regarding the assessment process, please do not hesitate to contact the Jefferson County Assessor’s Office. Our website is https://co.jefferson.wa.us/151/AssessorJeff Chapman
Jefferson County Assessor
As your Assessor, one of my functions is to have this office be transparent and accessible to you. This web section will provide you with information on questions you may have regarding the Assessor’s office. If further assistance is needed, the Assessor’s staff is always willing to answer your questions.
It is our goal to appraise all property fairly and equitably, to maintain accurate and accessible property records and give prompt and courteous customer service.
State law requires that the Assessor value property at 100% of true and fair market value. The market value is the amount of money that a willing and unobligated buyer is willing to pay a willing and unobligated seller. An individual sale does not automatically establish the value of a property. The Assessor uses multiple sales to establish market value.
The Jefferson County Assessor’s office is required to physically inspect, appraise and revalue all real property once every 6 years with an annual review and update based on sales analysis. This appraisal cycle is established by the state constitution & state laws, enforced by the State Department of Revenue.
· We maintain inventory, description, ownership, sales and mapping for all properties.
· We provide information, education and assistance.
· We provide public computer access to assessment data, also now available on the Internet through the Real Property Search.
· We allocate value to taxing districts, calculate levy rates and certify tax roll to our Treasurer and provide information for tax exemptions:
o Senior Citizen and Disabled Persons Exemption
o Open Space Taxation, Forest Land Exemption, Farm & Agriculture Exemption
o Historic Properties Exemption
o Residential Home Improvement Exemption
· We prepare the defense of valuations for appeal board cases.
· We maintain business personal property listings and audits.
We do not, mail or collect your taxes. Please contact the Treasurer’s Office (360) 385-9150.
We do not, assist with completing your appeal form or take your appeal form. Please contact the Board of Equalization (360) 385-9100.
Real Property is land and any improvements, such as buildings, attached to the land. Properties are revalued annually and are physically inspected at least once every six years. After determining the value, the Assessor mails property owners a “Change of Value Notice.” The notice states the new and the old values. By comparing the two values, property owners can tell whether their property has increased or decreased in value. The notice also breaks down the value between land and improvements. Valuation notices are NOT tax bills. An increase in value does not mean that next year’s property taxes will increase at a proportionate rate.
Residential Revaluation Map