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Regularly convened session—Board duties—Presumption—Equalization to revaluation year.

(1) RCW 84.48.010 requires the board to meet annually beginning July 15th for the purpose of equalizing property values in the county and to hear taxpayer appeals. The board must remain in session not less than three days, nor more than twenty-eight days, provided that the board, with the approval of the county legislative authority may convene at any time when taxpayer petitions filed exceed twenty-five or ten percent of the number of petitions filed in the preceding year, whichever is greater. It is only during this twenty-eight day session that the board has the authority to equalize property values on its own initiative.
(2) At its regularly convened session, the board must adjust the current assessment year's value of property, both real and personal, to its true and fair value, but only if the board finds that the assessed value is not correct based upon:
(a) Information available to the board and/or the board's own examination and comparison of the assessment roll; or
(b) A request by the assessor, together with necessary valuation information, for correction of an error which correction requires appraisal judgment.
(3) The board must also hold hearings in accordance with WAC 458-14-076 on properly and timely filed taxpayer petitions.
(4) The assessor's valuation as certified to the board of equalization under RCW 84.40.320 is presumed correct, except with respect to subsection (2)(b) of this section. The taxpayer may overcome the presumption of correctness in favor of the assessor's valuation as follows:
(a) If a taxpayer shows by clear, cogent, and convincing evidence that the assessor's overall approach to valuation, or the assessor's valuation method, is flawed or invalid, then the presumption does not apply. For example, the taxpayer may be able to prove that the assessor failed to deduct any amount for depreciation when using the cost approach to value on an existing improvement. In such a case, the taxpayer only needs to prove the correct value of the property by a preponderance of the evidence.
(b) If a taxpayer shows by clear, cogent, and convincing evidence that a specific value within an overall assessed value is incorrect, then the standard of proof shifts to preponderance of the evidence for all contested issues related to that specific value. For example, the overall assessment of complex industrial properties is often made up of particular values for portions of the property being appraised. An assessor's error on one value decision does not necessarily invalidate the entire property's assessment, and the presumption of correctness in favor of the assessor remains with respect to the remainder of the property.
(5) In counties which are not on an annual revaluation cycle, the board must, in relation to a taxpayer appeal or otherwise, equalize real property values to true and fair value as of January 1 of the year in which the property was last revalued by the county assessor according to an approved revaluation cycle.
(6) The board must also consider any taxpayer appeals from an assessor's decision with respect to tax exemption of real or personal property, and determine:
(a) If the taxpayer is entitled to an exemption; and
(b) If so, the amount thereof.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 84.08.010, 84.08.070, and 84.48.200. WSR 06-13-034, § 458-14-046, filed 6/14/06, effective 7/15/06; WSR 90-23-097, § 458-14-046, filed 11/21/90, effective 12/22/90.]
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