(1) The sole method for appealing an assessor's determination to the board, as to valuation of property, or as to any other types of assessor determinations is by means of a properly completed and timely filed taxpayer petition.
(2) A taxpayer's petition for review of the assessed valuation placed upon property by the assessor or for review of any of the types of appeals listed in WAC 458-14-015
must be filed in duplicate with the board on or before July 1st of the assessment year or within thirty days, or up to sixty days if a longer time period is adopted by the county legislative authority, after the date an assessment or value change notice or other determination notice is mailed to the taxpayer, whichever date is later (RCW 84.40.038
(3) No late filing of a petition shall be allowed except as specifically provided in this subsection. The board may waive the filing deadline if the petition is filed within a reasonable time after the filing deadline and the petitioner shows good cause, as defined in this subsection, for the late filing. A petition that is filed after the deadline without a showing of good cause must be dismissed unless, after the taxpayer is notified by the board that the petition will be dismissed because of the late filing, the taxpayer promptly shows good cause for the late filing. The board must decide a taxpayer's claim of good cause without holding a public hearing on the claim and must promptly notify the taxpayer of the decision, in writing. The board's decision regarding a waiver of the filing deadline is final and not appealable to the state board of tax appeals. Good cause may be shown by documentation of one or more of the following events or circumstances:
(a) The taxpayer was unable to file the petition by the filing deadline because of a death or serious illness of the taxpayer or of a member of the taxpayer's immediate family occurring at or shortly before the time for filing. For purposes of this subsection, the term "immediate family" includes, but is not limited to, a grandparent, parent, brother, sister, spouse, domestic partner, child, grandchild, or domestic partner's child or grandchild.
(b) The taxpayer was unable to file the petition by the filing deadline because of the occurrence of all of the following:
(i) The taxpayer was absent from his or her home or from the address where the assessment notice or value change notice is normally received by the taxpayer. If the notice is normally mailed by the assessor to a mortgagee or other agent of the taxpayer, the taxpayer must show that the mortgagee or other agent was required, pursuant to written instructions from the taxpayer, to promptly transmit the notice and failed to do so; and
(ii) The taxpayer was absent (as described in (b)(i) of this subsection) for more than fifteen of the days allowed in subsection (2) of this section prior to the filing deadline; and
(iii) The filing deadline is after July 1 of the assessment year.
(c) The taxpayer was unable to file the petition by the filing deadline because the taxpayer reasonably relied upon incorrect, ambiguous, or misleading written advice as to the proper filing requirements by either a board member or board staff, the assessor or assessor's staff, or the property tax advisor designated under RCW 84.48.140
, or his or her staff.
(d) The taxpayer was unable to file the petition by the filing deadline because of a natural disaster such as a flood or earthquake occurring at or shortly before the time for filing.
(e) The taxpayer was unable to file the petition by the filing deadline because of a delay or loss related to the delivery of the petition by the postal service. The taxpayer must be able to provide documentation from the postal service of such a delay or loss.
(f) The taxpayer is a business and was unable to file the petition by the filing deadline because the person employed by the business, responsible for dealing with property taxes, was unavailable due to illness or unavoidable absence.
(4) If a petition is filed by mail it must be postmarked no later than the filing deadline. If the filing deadline falls upon a Saturday, Sunday or holiday, the petition must be filed on or postmarked no later than the next business day.
(5) A petition is properly completed when all relevant questions on the form provided or approved by the department have been answered and the answers contain sufficient information or statements to apprise the board and the assessor of the reasons for the appeal. A petition which merely states that the assessor's valuation is too high or that property taxes are excessive, or similar such statements, is not properly completed and must not be considered by the board. If, at the time of filing the petition, the taxpayer does not have all the documentary evidence available which he or she intends to present at the hearing, the petition will be deemed to be properly completed for purposes of preserving the taxpayer's right of appeal, if it is otherwise fully and properly filled out. However, any comparable sales, valuation evidence, or other documentary evidence not submitted at the time the petition is filed must be provided by the taxpayer to the assessor and the board at least seven business days, excluding legal holidays, prior to the board hearing. A copy of the completed petition must be provided to the assessor by the clerk of the board. Any petition not fully and properly completed must not be considered by the board (RCW 84.40.038
) and a notice of the board's rejection of the petition must be promptly mailed to the taxpayer. See: WAC 458-14-066
Requests for valuation information—Duty to exchange information—Time limits, for an explanation of the availability, use and exchange of valuation and other documentary information prior to the hearing before the board.
(6) Whenever the taxpayer has an appeal pending with the board, the state board of tax appeals or with a court of law, and the assessor notifies the taxpayer of a change in property valuation, the taxpayer is required to file a timely petition with the board in order to preserve the right to appeal the change in valuation. For example, if a taxpayer has appealed a decision of the board to the board of tax appeals regarding an assessed value for the year 2005, and that appeal is pending when the assessor issues a value change notice for the 2006 assessment year, the taxpayer must still file a timely petition appealing the valuation for the 2006 assessment year in order to preserve his or her right to appeal from that 2006 assessed value.
(7) Petition forms shall be available from the clerk of the board and from the assessor's office.
[Statutory Authority: 2009 c 521. WSR 10-07-133, § 458-14-056, filed 3/23/10, effective 4/23/10. Statutory Authority: RCW 84.08.010
, 84.08.070, and 84.48.200. WSR 06-13-034, § 458-14-056, filed 6/14/06, effective 7/15/06; WSR 95-17-099, § 458-14-056, filed 8/23/95, effective 9/23/95; WSR 90-23-097, § 458-14-056, filed 11/21/90, effective 12/22/90.]