Okanogan County picks up $37.4 million in new assessed value

OKANOGAN – Okanogan County picked up new construction valued at $37,412,700 in assessed valuation in the past 12 months, according to County Assessor Scott Furman.

The county assessor’s office recently completed physically inspecting and valuing new construction that occurred in the county in the past 12 months for property tax purposes, said Furman.

The $37,417,700 in new assessed value was picked up for assessment year 2011, taxes payable 2012.

“This amount is an 18 percent decrease compared to the $45,397,400 that was valued in 2010,” Furman said in a recent press release, adding, in 2009 a total of $61,442,200 in new construction was picked up.

“The $37.4 million that was picked up this year compares to the 2001 amount of $38.3 million,” Furman said. “The most new construction occurred in 2007 and amounted to $80.7 million.”

The assessment of new construction process involves the auditor 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. These criteria include square footage, quality of construction, quality of materials used and architectural design, according to Furman.

The assessor said 94 percent of this new construction could be attributed to residential construction with the remaining six percent commercial construction.

“This compares to 85 percent residential new construction and 15 percent commercial new construction in 2010,” he said.

The Methow Valley School District is again back on top with 32 percent of the new construction located within its boundaries in 2011. New construction within this district accounted for 38 percent of the total in 2010.

“Tonasket School District and Oroville School District each came in with 17% of the total in 2011. They had 19% and 10% respectively in 2010,” the assessor said

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, Furman explained

“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 it gives the taxing districts where the new construction is located a small revenue boost,” he said.

All property owners who have had new construction valued by the Okanogan County Assessor’s Office this year will have a notice of value change mailed to them Aug. 12. These notices of value change will affect property taxes paid in 2012. The assessor encourages anyone who has questions regarding their new construction assessment to contact the office at (509) 422-7190 or stop by at 149 3rd Ave. North, Room 202, in Okanogan and talk with them. The assessor’s office is open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, except on holidays.