HOUSE BILL REPORT
This analysis was prepared by non-partisan legislative staff for the use of legislative members in their deliberations. This analysis is not a part of the legislation nor does it constitute a statement of legislative intent.
As Passed Legislature
Title: An act relating to property tax refunds more than three years after the due date resulting from certain manifest errors.
Brief Description: Concerning property tax refunds more than three years after the due date resulting from certain manifest errors.
Sponsors: Representatives Ramos, Pollet, Tarleton, Peterson, Appleton and Tharinger.
Finance: 2/7/19, 2/25/19 [DP].
Passed House: 3/4/19, 96-0.
Passed Senate: 4/3/19, 48-0.
HOUSE COMMITTEE ON FINANCE
Majority Report: Do pass. Signed by 13 members: Representatives Tarleton, Chair; Walen, Vice Chair; Orcutt, Ranking Minority Member; Young, Assistant Ranking Minority Member; Chapman, Frame, Macri, Morris, Orwall, Springer, Stokesbary, Vick and Wylie.
Staff: Richelle Geiger (786-7139).
A taxpayer may seek a property tax refund for multiple reasons, provided in statute. Grounds for refunds include taxes paid as a result of manifest error in a description of property that is taxed, such as an error in the square footage description of a building. Generally, a taxpayer must file a claim for a refund within three years of the tax due date. A county legislative authority may authorize refunds more than three years after the tax due date if the refund claim is based on taxes paid as the result of a manifest error.
To correct a manifest error, a county assessor or a treasurer may cancel or correct tax records up to three years preceding the year in which the error is discovered. A county legislative authority may permit cancellations or corrections of tax records more than three years preceding the year in which the error was discovered.
Summary of Bill:
Eliminates the requirement that a claim must be filed for a county legislative authority to authorize a property tax refund to be processed more than three years after the due date of the payment, if the refund is for taxes paid as the result of a manifest error.
Fiscal Note: Available.
Effective Date: The bill takes effect 90 days after adjournment of the session in which the bill is passed.
Staff Summary of Public Testimony:
(In support) This bill allows county assessors to issue refunds to taxpayers who overpaid their taxes due to a manifest error when the county assessor finds the error. Currently, taxpayers have to file a claim for every year they wish to seek a refund. This is an administrative headache for all parties involved. This is a good government bill that makes serving the public easier.
This bill passed out of the House of Representatives last year.
Persons Testifying: Representative Ramos, prime sponsor; and John Wilson, King County Assessor.
Persons Signed In To Testify But Not Testifying: None.