Taxpayers May Apply for Reduction in Property Value due to Damage Beyond the Owners Control
While It appears that most of the damage from the recent fires and windstorms occurred outside King County, Assessor John Wilson says this is a good time to remember that property damaged or destroyed by something beyond the property owner's control is eligible for a reduction of assessed value, resulting in lower property taxes.
“When disaster strikes, whether in the form of fire, flood, or trees falling, property owners deserve tax relief,” said King County Assessor John Wilson. “I encourage all affected King County taxpayers to use this program.”
If you own property in King County that has been damaged or destroyed information on filing a claim can be found here: https://www.kingcounty.gov/.../TaxRe.../DamagedProperty.aspx or you can download a King County Destroyed Property Form (.PDF)
Damaged Property Relief Program Details:
Any real or personal property that has been destroyed, in whole or in part, or is in an area that has been declared a disaster area by the governor and has been reduced in value by more than twenty (20) percent, may apply.
The amount of tax abatement shall be determined by calculating the taxes on the amount deducted from the assessed value for the number of days that remained in the calendar year after the date of destruction or reduction in value of the property. If taxes abated have already been paid, the amount paid shall be refunded.
An application must be filed within three years of the date of destruction or reduction in value.
If the taxpayer disagrees with the determination made by the County Assessor regarding the destroyed property exemption, he/she may appeal the amount of reduction to the County Board of Equalization within sixty (60) days of notification from the Assessor
In cases where a fire, natural disaster or vandalism has occurred, supporting documentation is required which identifies the property and the date of occurrence, such as fire department reports and insurance adjuster estimates.