Helpful Info, Forms and Links
Property Tax Exemption for Senior Citizens and Disabled Persons: If you are a senior citizen or disabled person with your residence in Washington State, there are two programs that may help you pay your property taxes and/or special assessments. Your household income and your age or disability determine your eligibility for both programs. Click the link below or contact our office for more information:
For those wishing to apply for this exemption a Senior Citizens and Disabled Persons Exemption from Real Property Taxes Form must be filled out and returned to the assessor's office along with proof of income.
Appealing Your Property Assessment to the County Board of Equalization: If you disagree with the assessor's valuation of your property, you have the right to appeal. You can contact your county assessor's office to review your valuation whenever you have questions about your property value. Property owners can often settle disagreements at this level without continuing the appeal process. However, you still need to preserve your appeal rights by timely filing your appeal form with the Board of Equalization. Click the link below for more information:
Filing an Appeal: To file an appeal against an assessor's property valuation, you must complete a Taxpayer Petition to the County Board of Equalization for Review of Real Property Valuation Determination Form in the county where the property is located. The deadline for filing an appeal is the latter of:
- July 1 of the assessment year; or
- Within 60 days of when the Change of Value Notice was issued by the assessor's office.
Petitions can be mailed to:
Wahkiakum County Board of Equalization
Laurie Williams - Clerk of the Board
PO Box 641
Cathlamet, WA 98612
Designated Forest Land (DFL): Washington State encourages sound forestry practices so that present and future generations can enjoy the many benefits they provide. In addition to scenic and recreational spaces, healthy forests provide:
- An enchanced water supply.
- Reduced soil erosion, storm and flood damage.
- Habitat for wild game.
- Employment opportunities.
- Raw materials for products.
As a way to encourage commercial forestry in Washington State, landowners may choose to have their land designated as forest land. This designation often results in a lower assessed value and lower taxes. Specific requirements must be met to qualify for this designation. Click the link below or call our office for more information:
To apply for DFL an Application for Designated Forest Land for Parcels with Same Ownership must be filled out and returned to the assessor's office by December 31st to begin designated status January 1st the year after you apply.
To transfer your DFL to a current use classification (subject to all applicable qualifications for each classification) an Application for Transfer of Designated Forest Land to Current Use Classification must be filled out and returned to the assessor's office.
To request removal of DFL a Property Owner's Request for Removal of Designated Forest Land form must be filled out and returned to the assessor's office. Upon removal, you will be required to pay compensating tax unless the removal meets one of the exceptions outlined in RCW 84.33.140(13-15).
Open Space Taxation Act: The Open Space Taxation Act, enacted in 1970, allows property owners to have their open space, farm and agricultural, and timber lands valued at their current use rather than at their highest and best use. The Act states that it is in the best interest of the state to maintain, preserve, conserve, and otherwise continue in existence adequate open space lands for the production of food, fiber, and forest crops and to assure the use and enjoyment of natural resources and scenic beauty for the economic and social well-being of the state and its citizens. The law provides three classifications:
- Open Space Land
- Farm and Agricultural Land
- Timber Land
Specific requirements must be met to qualify for each classification. Open Space Land and Timber Land classifications are granted by the county legislative authority. Open Space Farm and Ag Land classification is granted by the county assessor. Click the link below or call our office for more information.
A property owner may apply for Farm and Agricultural Land Classification through the following steps:
- A Current Use Application Farm and Agricultural Land Classification for Parcels with Same Ownership must be filled out and returned to the assessor's office.
- Depending on the size of the parcel applying for Farm and Ag Land Classification, proof of income may be required.
A property owner may apply for Open Space Land or Open Space Timber classifications through the following steps:
- Applications must be filled out and returned to the assessor's office and application fees will apply.
- The assessor will review the application and prepare a report.
- A copy of the application will go the Wahkiakum County Building and Planning Department for:
- Prepare a report on the application for consistency with the Wahkiakum County comprehensive plan.
- Schedule public hearing before the Wahkiakum County Planning Commission.
- Planning Commission Public Hearing. The Planning Commission will make a recommendation.
- Application and recommendations will be submitted to Clerk of the Board of County Commissioners.
- The Clerk of the Board will place on Commissioner's agenda, publish a notice of public hearing, and schedule public hearing.
- Decision will be made by the Board of County Commissioners.
- Taxation Agreement will be recorded in the auditor's office, recording fees will apply.
To apply for an Open Space Land classification an Application for Classification or Reclassification as Open Space Land must be filled out and returned to the assessor's office. To apply for Timber Land classification a Current Use Application Timber Land Classification Parcels with Same Ownership must be filled out and returned to the assessor's office.
A property owner may request removal from current use by filling out a Notice of Request to Remove Current Use Assessment Classification Form and returning to the assessor's office. If a land is removed from any Open Space Classification, compensating tax and penalty may be due.
Parcel Segregation: A parcel segregation is defined as any change in tax parcel configuration from what was previously described and/or mapped on the tax roll. The assessor may administratively segregate parcels for tax roll and program requirements, or a property owner may request a parcel segregation through the following steps:
- If your parcels will be 5 acres or less you may be subject to short plat or subdivision rules. Click here Land Use, Building Permits & Shoreline Permits for more information from the Wahkiakum County Building and Planning Department.
- Taxes on the parcel MUST be paid in full before a segregation can be completed.
- A segregation request form must be filled out in full, with notarized signatures of all property owners. Request forms can be found at the Assessor's office or here: Segregation Request Form
- The request form must have all improvements noted and/or sketched to assure improvement values are placed on the correct parcel.
- A complete legal description of the parcels MUST be attached to the request.
Parcel Consolidation: Property consolidation is when two or more parcels are PERMANENTLY combined for taxation purposes. This is usually requested to help reduce the amount of taxes on properties. As stated above this procedure is PERMANENT and if you wish to sell a portion of the property in the future, it may need to be surveyed. This would be accomplished at the owner's expense and possibly subject to short plat or subdivision rules. If you consolidate property, be aware that this could affect current and/or future liens on the property, as it will be a single parcel. A property owner may request a parcel consolidation through the following steps:
- Speak with the County Assessor or Deputy Assessors about your consolidation request. There are certain situations, administrative or otherwise that can prevent a consolidation. Our office needs time to research the parcels under consideration to be sure the request can be completed.
- Taxes on all parcels MUST be paid in full before a consolidation can be completed.
- A consolidation request form must be filled out in full, with notarized signatures of all property owners. Consolidation request forms can be found at the Assessor's office or here: Consolidation Request Form
Destroyed Property: Any real or personal property that has been placed upon the assessment roll as of January 1 of the assessment year in which the property was destroyed, in whole or in part, or is in an area that has been declared a disaster area by the governor or the county legislative authority and has been reduce in value by more that 20 percent may be eligible. Examples of property destruction can include fire, flood, or wind damage, and owner removal of structures.
If you have property that has been destroyed and wish to have a reduction of assessment, fill out the Taxpayer's Claim for Reduction of Assessment - Destroyed Real or Personal Property Form and return to the assessor's office.