SENATE BILL 5273
State of Washington 52nd Legislature 1991 Regular Session
By Senators Rinehart, Conner, Gaspard, Murray and A. Smith.
Read first time January 25, 1991. Referred to Committee on Governmental Operations.
AN ACT Relating to improving property tax administrative practices; requiring annual updating of assessed values; providing more complete information about property tax administration; modifying qualification requirements for property tax appraisers; requiring a study; amending RCW 84.41.030, 84.41.041, and 36.21.015; adding a new section to chapter 84.41 RCW; adding a new section to chapter 84.08 RCW; creating a new section; and declaring an emergency.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF WASHINGTON:
Sec. 1. RCW 84.41.030 and 1982 1st ex.s. c 46 s 1 are each amended to read as follows:
county assessor shall maintain an active and systematic program of revaluation
on a continuous basis, and shall establish a revaluation schedule which will
result in revaluation of all taxable real property within the county at least
once each ((
four)) year(( s)) and physical inspection of all
taxable real property within the county at least once each six years.
Sec. 2. RCW 84.41.041 and 1987 c 319 s 4 are each amended to read as follows:
county assessor shall cause taxable real property to be physically inspected
and valued at least once every six years in accordance with RCW 84.41.030, and
in accordance with a plan filed with and approved by the department of
revenue. Such revaluation plan shall provide that a reasonable portion of all
taxable real property within a county shall be physically inspected and
revalued and these newly-determined values placed on the assessment rolls each
The department may approve a plan that provides that all property
in the county be revalued every two years. If the revaluation plan provides
for physical inspection at least once each four years, during the intervals
between each physical inspection of real property, the valuation of such
property may be adjusted to its current true and fair value, such adjustments
to be based upon appropriate statistical data.)) If the revaluation plan
provides for physical inspection less frequently than once each (( four))
year(( s)), during the intervals between each physical inspection of real
property, the valuation of such property shall be adjusted to its current true
and fair value, such adjustments to be made once each year and to be based upon
appropriate statistical data.
The assessor may require property owners to submit pertinent data respecting taxable property in their control including data respecting any sale or purchase of said property within the past five years, the cost and characteristics of any improvement on the property and other facts necessary for appraisal of the property.
NEW SECTION. Sec. 3. A new section is added to chapter 84.41 RCW to read as follows:
The department of revenue may approve a revaluation plan under RCW 84.41.041 that provides for phased-in compliance with the annual statistical update requirement. To be approved, the plan must provide statistical updates for a reasonable portion of all taxable real property within a county each year, with full compliance with the annual statistical update requirement not later than for taxes levied for collection in 1996.
NEW SECTION. Sec. 4. A new section is added to chapter 84.08 RCW to read as follows:
(1) The department shall prepare a clear and succinct explanation of the property tax system, including but not limited to:
(a) The standard of true and fair value as the basis of the property tax.
(b) How the assessed value for particular parcels is determined.
(c) The procedures and timing of the assessment process.
(d) How district levy rates are determined, including the one hundred six percent limit.
(e) How the composite tax rate is determined.
(f) How the amount of tax is calculated.
(g) How a taxpayer may appeal an assessment, and what issues are appropriate as a basis of appeal.
(h) A summary of tax exemption and relief programs, along with the eligibility standards and application processes.
(2) Each county assessor shall provide copies of the explanation to taxpayers on request, free of charge. Each revaluation notice shall include information regarding the availability of the explanation.
Sec. 5. RCW 36.21.015 and 1977 c 75 s 30 are each amended to read as follows:
Any person having the responsibility of valuing real property for purposes of
taxation including persons acting as assistants or deputies to a county
assessor under RCW 36.21.011 ((
as now or hereafter amended,)) shall have
Graduated from an accredited high school or passed a high school equivalency
examination; (2))) (a)
Had at least one year of experience in transactions involving real property, in
appraisal of real property, or in assessment of real property, or at least one
year of experience in a combination of the three;
(b) Become knowledgeable in repair and remodeling of buildings and
improvement of land, and in the significance of locality and area to the value
of real property; (( and (4))) (c)
Become knowledgeable in the standards for appraising property set forth by the
department of revenue; and
(d) Met other minimum requirements specified by department of revenue rule.
The department of ((
personnel shall prepare with the advice of the
department of)) revenue shall prepare and administer an examination
on (( the)) subjects (( of subsections (3) and (4), and)) related
to the valuation of real property. No person shall assess real property
for purposes of taxation without having passed said examination or having
received an examination waiver from the department of revenue upon showing
education or experience determined by the department to be equivalent to
passing the examination. A person passing said examination or receiving
an examination waiver shall be certified accordingly by the (( director
of the)) department of (( personnel: PROVIDED, HOWEVER, That)) revenue.
(3) The department of revenue may by rule establish continuing education requirements for persons assessing real property for purposes of taxation. The department shall provide certification of completion of requirements imposed under this section. No person shall assess real property for purposes of taxation without complying with requirements imposed under this subsection.
(4) To the extent practical, the department of revenue shall coordinate certification requirements under this section with the requirements for certified real estate appraisers under chapter 18.140 RCW.
(5) The examination requirements of subsection (2) of this section shall not apply to any person who shall have either:
(a) Been certified as a real property appraiser by the department of
personnel prior to May 21, 1971; or
(b) Attended and satisfactorily completed the assessor's school operated
jointly by the department of revenue and the Washington state assessors
association prior to August 9, 1971.
NEW SECTION. Sec. 6. (1) The department of revenue shall conduct a study of the administration of the property tax system. The study shall include an examination of:
(a) The implementation of the administrative reforms required by this legislation.
(b) The adequacy of information and tools relating to property location and value, including items such as maps, property data, sales data, and computer systems.
(c) The effectiveness of county boards of equalization.
(d) The effectiveness and equity of the current method of equalizing the state levy.
(e) The adequacy of auditing procedures for property tax relief programs.
(f) The fiscal impact of property tax reform legislation on individual tax districts.
(2) The department shall report the findings of the study to the committees of the legislature that deal with revenue matters no later than November 30, 1991.
NEW SECTION. Sec. 7. This act is necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, or safety, or support of the state government and its existing public institutions, and shall take effect immediately.