Assessor Counter Service Office Hours:
Monday - Thursday 10am to 4pm beginning October 1st, 2023
2023 Assessment Change of Value Notices
The Assessor’s Office mailed the 2023 Change of Value Notices on October 27, 2023. Our county’s total value increased from $12.5 billion to $14.4 billion, with $146 million in new construction, $16 million more than last year and the highest new construction value in San Juan County history.
The Assessor's Office analyzed sales between January 1, 2022 and April 30, 2023 to reflect the real estate market as of January 1, 2023 in the assessments. Properties with new construction are valued for improvements made to the property up to July 31, 2023. Most areas showed an increase in value from the previous year.
The 2023 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.
Assessed values are set at market value. As sale prices increase, so will assessed values. As sale prices decrease, so will assessed values. 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.
If you have questions about your assessment, please email the Assessor’s Office at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (360) 378-2172 between 10:00 AM and 4:00 PM Monday through Thursday.
Role and Mission
The Assessor's primary responsibility is to identify and assign a taxable value (assess) to all real and tangible business personal property within San Juan County and certify the annual tax roll with the Washington Department of Revenue (DOR) in accordance with State law. Additional responsibilities include the maintenance of all associated property records, the administration of current use and exemption programs, and the annual notification to property owners of a change in their appraised property value.
Property taxes allow our community to benefit from services like schools, libraries, parks, health services, fire protection, and law enforcement. The Assessor administers the assessment process so that taxes are paid equitably according to State law. The San Juan County Assessor's Office is committed to a process that is professional, fair and clearly understood.
Assessor's Office Activities and Responsibilities
- Inspects all real property on a six-year cycle, with annual inspections for active new construction.
- Assigns taxable value to all real property every year based on information obtained from inspections, historical information, and a comprehensive statistical analysis of market value.
- Notifies property owners when there is a change in the appraised value of their property.
- Administers tax relief and tax deferral programs for senior citizens, disabled persons, veterans and limited income families.
- Administers Current Use Programs (Farm and Agriculture, Open Space and Timber Land) and Designated Forest Land Programs.
- Monitors and assigns taxable value to business personal property every year based on information obtained from business owners and DOR audits.
- Maintains mapping systems to reflect the most current boundary line modifications and property divisions.
- Maintains ownership records to reflect the most current sales and other transfers of interests.
- Reviews the budget of all taxing districts and calculates levy rates according to statutory guidelines.
The Assessor's Office is Not Responsible for the Following Activities
- Mailing tax statements (contact the Treasurer's Office)
- Collecting / providing status of tax payments (contact the Treasurer's Office)
- Maintaining recorded documents (contact the Auditor's Office)
- Determining / approving budgets for tax purposes