WHATCOM COUNTY, Wash. — While many property taxes increase and decrease along with the assessed value of the property, “an increase in value does not mean a proportional increase in property tax,” according to a recent press release from the Whatcom County Assessor’s Office. This should quell some concerns after many property owners recently received property valuation change notices from the Whatcom County Assessor’s Office in the mail recently.
The Assessor must value all property in Whatcom County at full market value. Sales from 2020 were analyzed to develop an assessed value as of January 1, 2021. The market continued to appreciate through 2019 for most locations and types of properties, which is reflected in the January 1, 2020 assessed values. Total Assessed Value in the county increased approximately $2.87 billion, which includes $448,999,987 in new construction value.Whatcom County Assessor’s Office press release – October 13, 2021
Every year, 1/6th of all properties in Whatcom County are physically inspected and reassessed. In 2021, the Assessor’s Office inspected properties in Lummi Peninsula, Birchwood, Cordata, King Mountain, part of Alabama Hill and North Lake Whatcom neighborhoods.
The other 5/6th of all properties see their values adjusted “based on a statistical update, from analysis of sales of similar properties,” according to the press release.
Increases in values of single-family residential properties ranged from 8-27%, with a median of approx. 15%. Multifamily properties with 20 units or less increased significantly in parts of Bellingham, Ferndale, Sumas, Nooksack and Everson. Some commercial properties throughout the county saw increases as well.Whatcom County Assessor’s Office press release – October 13, 2021
County Assessor Rebecca Xczar told Whatcom News in an email that there were a few new things with this year’s property valuation notices.
- mailing 6 weeks earlier than last year due to process improvements
- an insert included with the notices explains the assessment process, budget based levies and current market conditions – a change made last year, that was continued this year
- the Whatcom County Assessor’s Office section of the County website has new pages to provide additional information to the public
- a GIS tax parcel viewer went live last year