Dec. 12, 2010

Whatcom County Property Taxes Are Getting Fairer

The Whatcom County tax bills that start arriving in homes this week will be the first under the county's new, more fair, annual tax system

The four-year cycle of reassessments  where property owners in different parts of the county taking turns getting  big jumps in property value and the unjust share of property tax payments that came with them are gone.

County Council approved spending about $2.5 million on upgrading computers needed to make the system work.

Some people in the county will see minor adjustments this year as all properties get caught up to the same assessment cycle.

The values are determined by the size of, and amenities of a property along with the recent sales of comparable properties. Homeowners always want low assessments for taxes but high assessments when they want to sell.

Concerned taxpayers should go to the county assessors property website and read the descriptions of your property. If you find something wrong - from the size of the lot to the number of rooms - you may have a case for an appeal.

The four-year cycle created lots misunderstanding. The new system seems more equitable and easier to understand.

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