Change of Value Notices

Overview

The Change of Value Notices for assessment year 2023 were mailed on October 27th. If your appraised value did not change from the prior year you will not receive a Change of Value Notice. 

By State law, the Assessor is required to value property at 100% market value. The Assessor's Office analyzed real estate transactions that occurred between January 1st, 2022 and April 30th 2023. Your market value reflects the real estate market as of January 1st 2023. For properties with new construction, your market value is effective as of July 31, 2023.

Below are highlights of the 2023 assessment year:

  • The total assessed value for San Juan County is $12,500 million, including $129 million in new construction value. The assessed value increased $2,735 million over last year.
  • The on-site inspection cycle included 2,791 properties on the south end of San Juan Island and the south end of Lopez Island, with 849 additional inspections for new construction in the rest of the county. 

The Change of Value Notice is not a tax bill. Tax bills are mailed in February based on the budgets submitted by the taxing districts (state, county, fire, library, etc.). Budgets are limited to a 1% increase plus an allowance for new construction in the district, which usually adds another 1%-2% to the total amount collectable. Because the cost of services increases every year, most taxing districts increase their budgets from the previous year, which increase taxes. If the taxing district budgets remained constant from one year to the next, taxes would stay the same even if assessed values doubled. Taxes would stay the same even if assessed values dropped in half. The levy rate is adjusted down or up as assessed values go up or down to satisfy the budget amounts.

Market Value

State law requires that Assessors appraise all taxable property within the county at 100% of its true and fair market value, according to the highest and best use of the property. 

Assessed values are set at market value. As sale prices increase, so will assessed values. As sale prices decrease, so will assessed values. 

Fair market value, or true value, is the amount of money that a willing and unobligated buyer is willing to pay a willing and unobligated seller.

The Assessor's Office reviews each parcel sold in San Juan County. The purpose of the review is to gain information regarding the nature of the sale and the characteristics of the property. The Assessor's Office uses only the sales between an unobligated buyer and seller to be part of its sales data collection.

Mass Appraisal

By comparing the market sales with our appraised values, we determine when valuation increases or decreases are necessary to maintain market values. 

Below is a summary of how market sales are used to determine your property value:

  • The Assessor's Office groups similar properties into "neighborhoods".
  • The Assessor's Office reviews the market sales for each neighborhood.
  • The Assessor's Office adjusts the value of the entire neighborhood to reflect the market sales in each neighborhood. This method of appraisal is called "Mass Appraisal". 

The Assessor's Office reviewed sales transactions from January 1st, 2022 through April 30th, 2023. 

The objective of reviewing market sales by neighborhood is to improve the consistency of the values. The benefit to property owners is the knowledge that they are being treated the same as other property owners.

The valuation of your property is adjusted, upwards or downwards, based on the market sales data. 

To perform a sales search on the Assessor's website, please read

 HOW TO PERFORM A SALES SEARCH ON THE SAN JUAN COUNTY WEBSITE

Disagree with your Value?

If you do not agree with the value of your property, please do the following:

Step 1: Contact the Assessor’s Office Monday through Thursday between 10:00 AM and 4:00 PM

Disagreements of property values are often settled at this level.

Step 2: If you are unable to reach an agreement with the Assessor’s Office, you may file an appeal with the Board of Equalization (BOE). Petition forms are available by contacting the Clerk of the Board of Equalization.

  • E-mail: boe@sanjuancountywa.gov
  • Phone Number: 360-378-6312
  • Mailing Address: 350 Court Street #2, Friday Harbor, WA  98250

Forms are available for download on the BOE website

Completed petition forms must be submitted to the BOE within 30 days of the Change of Value Notice.