OKANOGAN – For the first time the area within the Oroville School District had the most new construction in the previous year, overtaking the Methow Valley School District, which typically leads the county.
The Okanogan County Assessor’s Office recently completed physically inspecting and valuing new construction in the county over the past 12 months for property tax purposes. The county picked up $88,630,400 in new assessed value for assessment year 2008, according to Okanogan County Assessor Scott D. Furman. This compares to $80,718,000 that was valued in 2007.
“This is the largest amount of value ever picked up in Okanogan County and amounts to a one year increase of 10 percent over the prior year. The $80,718,000 amount for 2007 was a 32 percent increase over the amount valued in 2006,” said Furman.
The new construction assessment process involves the four real estate appraisers from the assessor’s office inspecting the improvements and determining their value based upon a number of criteria including square footage, quality of construction, quality of materials used and architectural design.
Of the new construction, 81 percent can be attributed to residential construction with the remaining 19 percent in commercial construction, said Furman. This compares to 89 percent residential new construction and 11 percent commercial new construction in 2007.
“For the first time the Oroville School District tops the list with 32 percent of all new construction occurring within their boundaries. Much of the value within the Oroville School District can be attributed to new developments on and around Lake Osoyoos as well as the Buckhorn Gold Mine,” Furman said.
The Methow Valley School District, which typically has the most new construction each year, follows with 27 percent of the total.
“Valuation of new construction in a timely manner by the assessor’s office is important to all property taxpayers as well as the 63 different taxing districts within Okanogan County. The addition of these new values to the property tax roll of Okanogan County helps lessen the property tax burden on everyone with existing value while at the same time gives the taxing districts where the new construction is located a small revenue burst,” said the assessor.
All property owners who have new construction valued by the assessor’s office this year had a notice of value change form mailed to them. These notices of value change will affect property taxes paid in 2009. Furman encourages anyone who has questions regarding their new construction assessments contact his office at (509) 422-7190 or stop by at 149 Third N. in Okanogan and talk with the staff. The assessor’s office is open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.