The Pierce County Assessor-Treasurer's office will begin mailing notices of value for most residential and commercial properties in Pierce County on June 22.
The notices provide taxpayers with their assessed values as of Jan. 1, 2012. Those values are the base upon which the 2013 property tax statements are calculated later in the year.
The vast majority of the notices - 95 percent of the total - will show a reduction in value from 2011. The 2012 values reflect the continued weakness of the real estate market, and an accelerating decline across the board for all residential property types.
The average residential property value in Pierce County has fallen by 11.96 percent from the year before, while commercial properties saw their average values decline by 3.97 percent. Over the past four years, the average value of a residential property in Pierce County has plunged from $277,674 in 2008 to $191,402 as of January of this year, a decline of more than 31 percent.
There are differences among neighborhoods however. For example, the appraisal area around the communities of DuPont, Steilacoom and Chambers Bay has experienced the lowest drop in values at less than 25 percent, while the east end of the City of Tacoma, alongside Pacific Avenue, has seen its values decline by more than 38 percent during the same time period.
Commercial properties, whose values actually peaked a year later than their residential counterparts, have only fared slightly better. Since 2009, the average commercial value in the county has declined by some $233,500, an almost 20 percent loss of value.
A comprehensive annual revaluation report, containing more detail such as year to year value average comparisons, average values by school and fire district, or cities and towns, and lists of individual sales, will be available later this month at the Assessor-Treasurer's website under the Reports link.
Pierce County appraises all properties on a six-year revaluation schedule, as mandated by state law. One-sixth of the county is physically inspected every year, while the values for the remaining five-sixths are statistically trended, based on market indicators. At the May 31, 2012 conclusion of year five of the six-year revaluation schedule, the Pierce County Assessor-Treasurer's office has physically inspected 259,665 properties, or slightly more than 80 percent of the total number of properties in the county.
Assessor-Treasurer Dale Washam and his staff remain committed to preserving the integrity of the citizens' property tax levy rates, by maintaining a strict adherence to all statutory requirements, as promised.
IMPORTANT REMINDER: The final day for filing a property tax appeal is 60 days from the mailing date on the notice. Information regarding property tax appeals is located on the back of the value notice or by contacting the Pierce County Board of Equalization at (253) 798-7415. For convenience, appeal forms and helpful information are also available at the front counter of the Assessor-Treasurer's Office or electronically at the Assessor-Treasurer's website. Additional notices will be mailed in September, if applicable, to reflect changes in value due to new construction.
Marion Roe, Assistant to the Assessor-Treasurer