Questions on the Board of
Who is the Board of Equalization?
How soon will I receive a decision from
What if I'm not satisfied with their
Should I wait until after my hearing to
pay my taxes?
Appealing your Property Tax
Who is the Board Of Equalization?
The Board is wholly separate and apart from the Assessor's
Office. They are comprised of three County residents appointed
by the Whatcom County Council to three year terms. Board members
are selected for their knowledge of real estate values and
each member is required by law to attend an intensive five
day course on the valuation of real property. Board members
are salaried while they are in session and receive yearly
continuing education from the Washington State Department
of Revenue. The Board is directed by state law (Revised Code
of Washington, RCW, and Washington Administrative Code, WAC).
A list of Whatcom County's current Board members is available
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How Soon Will I Receive
a Decision from the Board of Equalization?
You will receive
a written decision from the Board usually within 30 days of
the hearing. The Board can either raise, lower, or sustain
the Assessor's value. Summaries
of Board actions are available on the County Council's website.
I'm Not Satisfied With the Board of Equalization's Decision?
You may appeal the County Board's
decision to the Washington State Board of Tax Appeals by filing
an appeal directly with the State within 30 days of the mailing
of the County Board's decision. Forms are available at the
County Council or the Assessor's Office. An information brochure
is available as well. You may also pay your property taxes
"under protest", (consult with the Whatcom County Treasurer's
Office for direction) and petition the Superior Court for
a refund by filing a lawsuit under Chapter 84.68 RCW.
I Do Not Meet the Appeal Deadlines, Can the Board be Reconvened
to Consider a Late Filed Petition?
Forms to request
reconvening the Board are available from the Board of Equalization
Office, the Assessor's Office or the Washington State Department
of Revenue. There are only limited reasons, by law (RCW
84.08.060, WAC 458-14-127), that allow the Board to reconvene
to consider assessments when an appeal was not timely filed.
If a taxpayer did not receive a change of value notice and
submits a sworn affidavit to attest to that fact, a petition
may be accepted until April 30th of the following year.
If a new purchaser bought a property in an arms-length transaction
after July 1st and before December 31st of the assessment
year and the sale price was less than 90% of the assessed
value, a petition may be accepted as well.
Should I Wait Until
After My Hearing to Pay My Property Taxes?
Pay your property taxes when due. After your hearing and
the finalization of the Board of Equalization's decision,
the County Treasurer will notify you of the appropriate adjustments
in your tax responsibility or refunds.
Back to Appealing
Your Property Tax
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