Fires spark most of new construction in county last year

Numbers up in Tonasket area, down in Oroville

OKANOGAN – The Okanogan County Assessor’s Office recently completed physically inspecting and valuing for property tax purposes, new construction that has occurred throughout the County in the past 12 months.

A total of $40,742,700 in new assessed value was picked up for assessment year 2016, taxes payable 2017. A total of $50,628,500 in new construction was valued in 2015. The spike in total new construction for 2015 can most likely be attributed to rebuilding efforts after the Carlton Complex Fire in 2014 where nearly 300 homes were lost. The most new construction occurred in 2008 and amounted to $88.6 million.

This process involves the 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.

Ninety percent of this new construction can be attributed to residential construction with the remaining 10 percent commercial construction. This compares to 95 percent residential construction and five percent commercial new construction in 2015.

The Methow Valley School District accounted for $18,463,300 in new construction or 45 percent of the total. The Pateros School District was next with $5,884,100 or 14 percent of the total. The Tonasket School District followed with $4,163,100 or 10 percent of the total. The Okanogan School District totaled $3,409,100 or eight percent of the total. The Omak School District had $3,340,300 in new construction which is approximately eight percent of the total. The Brewster School District total was $2,647,100 or six percent of the total. The Oroville School District had $2,540,300 which is about six 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 64 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 giving the taxing districts where the new construction is located a small revenue boost.

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 soon. These notices of value change will affect property taxes paid in 2017.

Okanogan County Assessor Furman, encourages anyone who has questions regarding their new construction assessment to contact the office at 509-422-7190 or stop by the Assessor’s Office at 149 3rd North, Room 202, in Okanogan and talk with them. The Assessor’s Office is open 8 to 5, Monday through Friday, except on holidays.