Real & Personal Property and Its Valuation
Skamania County has approximately 10,000 separate parcels of real property, which must be physically inspected and revalued not less than once every six years, in accordance with the State of Washington. This means that at least once every six years an appraiser will inspect and review your property. As a result of this inspection and appraisal, your property will increase in value, decrease in value, or retain its current value, depending upon current market and economic conditions. If the value has changed, either up or down, you will receive a "notice of change of value" in the mail. If you disagree with the new valuation, we encourage you to contact the Assessor's office first, in the event that an error has been made, or that a possible adjustment may be in order. If you desire further relief, then you may appeal to the Skamania County Board of Equalization, which meets in July of each year. Skamania County also has approximately 450 parcels of personal property. Personal property parcels are listed and assessed annually. Personal property is defined as all machinery and equipment used in agriculture, logging, offices, stores, etc., and all other items, less business inventories, that are used in conjunction with operating a commercial venture of any kind. Each year we send you a personal property detail sheet, which you are obliged to complete and return in its entirety. Upon receipt of this detail sheet we value the items listed in accordance with the statewide depreciation schedule. We then return the completed copy to you for your examination. We encourage you to communicate any possible errors or problems with us.
In Washington state, an assessment for tax purposes means that we are required, by statute to assess your property at its "market" or "true and fair" value. Our appraisers use state and national standards and appraisal principles to arrive at an estimate of true market value. There are three generally accepted approaches to value:
Cost Approach: Replacement cost new, less normal depreciation.
Market Approach: The market data, or sales comparison method
Income Approach: The capitalization of net rental income approach. As is typically done statewide, we rely almost exclusively on the cost and market approaches, with the market approach as the cornerstone to ensuring a fair and balanced valuation. The income approach is primarily used when appraising commercial properties from which a net operating income can be extracted with which to apply a capitalization rate for an indicator of value. However, in mass appraisal practices, cost and market are the most expedient, reliable and practical approaches.