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Washington has statewide tax-appeal rules, but local options can lead to confusion. The variations among the Seattle-area counties exemplify the problem. Snohomish County has a four-year revaluation cycle, while Pierce and King counties have annual plans. Snohomish and Pierce notify taxpayers only when a value changes from the prior year, whereas King sends assessment notices to all taxpayers each year. King also allows a more generous 60 days to appeal after a notice is mailed. Snohomish and Pierce allow only 30 days.

Taxpayers should have reviewed their values before the general appeal deadline of July 1, rather than waiting for an assessment notice, but they should also remain on the lookout for later notices.

Although the legislature specified that assessments are supposed to be completed by May 31, the courts have treated that as merely advisory. Consequently, assessment notices are mailed throughout the summer and fall. Consult your property tax attorney regarding appeal rights.

Norm BrunsGarvey, Schubert & [email protected] Property Tax Counsel (APTC)

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