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Open Space Public Benefit Rating System Tax Program
As authorized by RCW 84.34 the Pierce County Code 2.114, Ordinance 98-114s, adopted a Public Benefit Rating System (PBRS), for applicants, which ranks various open space features, listed below, and is composed of high, medium and low priority resources, bonus categories and a super bonus category. A minimum of three priority resources points is necessary to qualify for the program and a maximum of 15 priority points is allowed. The number of PBRS points correlates to a percent of market value reduction during the period of continued eligibility.

Available Forms
Priority Resources
Categories  Point System 
High priority critical salmon habitat, fish and wildlife habitat, marine waters, streams, wetlands, estuaries and tidal marshes, wooded areas, agricultural lands, prairie lands  5 points each 
Medium priority aquifer recharge areas, flood hazard areas, lakes, private open space passive recreation, privately owned and operated recreational facilities, private trails and corridors archaeological sites, historic landmark sites 3 points each 
Low priority landslide hazard areas (steep slopes), private parks and private golf courses with developed facilities, scenic view points and corridors, seismic hazard areas, volcanic hazard area  1 point each 

Bonus
Categories  Point System 
Public Access Granted (Note: Some priority resource categories require public access)  5 points 
Conservation / historic easement granted in perpetuity (Forever)  10 points 
Site within a Designated Urban Growth Area (UGA) or the Comprehensive Urban Growth Area (CUGA)  5 points 
Site is adjacent to or creates linkage with another open space parcel  5 points 

Super Bonus
Categories  Point System 
Properties with at least five priority resource points and which allow a degree of public access appropriate to the sensitivity of the resource(s) and which provide a qualifying conservation easement in perpetuity  25 points 

Points & Percentages
Points  0-2  12  15  18  20  25+ 
% of Reduction of Market Value  0%  20%  30%  40%  50%  60%  70%  80%  90% 

How to Apply
Applications are submitted to:
Pierce County Planning and Land Services Development Center
2401 S. 35th St.
Tacoma WA 98409

The non-refundable application fee of $1,200 must be submitted with the application. Cities may charge an additional fee. Contact your city to inquire. The fee for advertising the final public hearing will be billed and payable prior to recording the final contract. The fee varies, depending on length of legal, approximately $50. Any applicant requesting public access as a resource or if public access is a requirement can obtain signage requirements at the Pierce County Land Services office. Please be aware that land is subject to a back-tax liability if the use changes after being declared Open Space.

Applications submitted in any given year from January 1 through December 31 are approved or denied for the following assessment year, with tax reduction applied the year after approval.

Additional Information
Applications are available online or by contacting the Pierce County Assessor-Treasurer at (253) 798-7137.