Kitsap County sends revaluation notices

The Kitsap County Assessor’s Office has sent out change of value notices to local property owners, with most reflecting a 3 to 5 percent decrease in the assessed value of their homes.

This does not, however, signal a corresponding decrease in property taxes.

Instead, the 2009 bill will still increase an average of 3 percent due to the actions of local tax districts and the implementation of voter-approved levy increases.

“A lot of people will see a decrease in their valuation,” said Assessor Jim Avery. “But this won’t be reflected in your tax bill any more than past increases of 10 percent did not lead to a ten percent increase in your taxes.”

By state law, property taxes can only increase one percent per year. Since this situation has caused a budget shortfall in local governments it is likely they will claim the full entitlement.

To date the only increase in 2009 above the 1 percent limit is the recently approved Poulsbo Fire District EMS lid lift and the previously approved 4 to 5 percent increases to the annual operations and maintenance levy in each of our school districts.

While these notices are sent out annually, most of them are based on real estate sales data and other economic factors. Only one sixth of the properties receive personal visits as part of the evaluation, in line with a requirement that every property must receive an on-site inspection at least once for every six years.

Last year, inspections were conducted on Bainbridge Island, Suquamish and Indianola.

As a result, these properties will show a larger variation.

Avery said that assessed value does not always reflect a property’s expected selling price, and that “the real estate market isn’t precise.”

However, the average equation is still that a house can be expected to sell for about ten percent above assessed value.

Avery said this year’s change of value notices may be more eagerly awaited than in the past, due to the volatility of the current real estate market.

The Assessor’s Office reported that 90,554 notices were sent on July 11.

Anyone not receiving a notice within one week should contact the assessor’s office, but should keep in mind that waterfront property, new construction and some commercial property will not receive notices.

Those disagreeing with the new market value estimates have 60 days to appeal to the County Board of Equalization.

As a first step, however, owners should contact the assessor at to go over property characteristics and receive property specific information on valuation and available tax relief programs.

For more information, call (360) 337-7160 or visit

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