Methow Valley back on top for new construction

OKANOGAN – The Oroville area, which had the most new construction in Okanogan County last year, was overtaken by the Methow Valley which regained its crown after the assessor’s office recently completed their annual inspection.

Each year the Okanogan County Assessor’s Office physically inspects new construction within the county over the previous 12 months for property tax purposes.

A total of “$45,397,400 in new assessed value was picked up for assessment year 2010, taxes payable in 2011,” said Scott D. Furman, Okanogan County Assessor. “This amount is a 26 percent decrease compared to the $61,442,2000 that was valued in 2009.”

The largest amount of new construction ever valued in a one-year period was picked up in 2008 when the amount totaled $88,630,400, according to the assessor. In 2007 the amount was $80.7 million.

“The $45.5 million that was picked up this year compares to the 2005 amount of $46 million,” Furman said.

The evaluation of new construction involves the assessor’s office’s four real estate appraisers going out and physically inspecting the improvements and determining the value of the improvements based upon a number of criteria, including square footage, quality of construction, quality of materials used and architectural design.

Furman said 85 percent of this new construction may be attributed to residential construction with the remaining 15 percent commercial construction. This compares to 93 percent residential new construction and seven percent commercial new construction in 2009.

The Methow Valley School District is again back on top with 38 percent of the new construction located within its boundaries in 2010. New construction within this district amounted to 32 percent off the total in 2009. The Tonasket School District came in second with 16 percent of the total – the district had 16 percent of the total in 2009. Brewster School District came in third with 13 percent of the total primarily due to the packing line/storage facility built there this past year. Oroville School District, which had 22 percent of the total in 2009, had only 10 percent in 2009 as the boom in construction of vacation property slowed.

“Valuation of new construction in a timely manner by the assessor’s office is important to all property taxpayers, as well as the 64 different taxing districts within Okanogan County,” said Furman. “The addition of these new values to the property tax rolls 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 boost.”