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Kitsap County sends out revaluation notices

The Kitsap County Assessors Office has sent out change of value notices to local property owners, with most reflecting a 3 to 5 percent decrease in the assessed value of their homes.

This does not, however, signal a corresponding decrease in property taxes.

Instead, the 2009 bill will still increase an average of 3 percent due to the actions of local tax districts and the implementation of voter-approved levy increases.

By state law, property taxes can only increase 1 percent per year. Because this situation has caused a budget shortfall in local governments, it is likely they will claim the full entitlement.

To date, the only increase in 2009 above the 1 percent limit is the recently approved Poulsbo Fire District EMS lid lift and the previously approved 4 to 5 percent increases to the annual operations and maintenance levy in each of the county’s school districts.

While these notices are sent out annually, most of them are based on real estate sales data and other economic factors. Only one-sixth of the properties receive personal visits as part of the evaluation, in line with a requirement that every property must receive an on-site inspection at least once for every six years.

The Assessor’s Office reported that 90,554 notices were sent yesterday.

Anyone not receiving a notice within one week should contact the assessor’s office, but should keep in mind that waterfront property, new construction and some commercial property will not receive notices.

Those disagreeing with the new market value estimates have 60 days to appeal to the County Board of Equalization.

As a first step, however, owners should contact the assessor to go over property characteristics and receive property specific information on valuation and available tax relief programs.

For more information, call (360) 337-7160 or visit www.kitsapgov.com/assr.

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