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Value changes hit the mail

"About 20 percent of Island County property owners will be getting a revised property assessment statement in the mail next week. Island County Assessor Tom Baenen said unlike in previous years, every revised Notice of Change of Value will be mailed on the same day this year so that the 30-day appeal period will be the same for everyone.Change of value notices are used to compute property assessments. Assessments are then used to determine individual property taxes.At the end of last month the Assessor's office sent out the annual notices of property assessments and value but some missed their mark for various reasons said Baenen. They include incorrect addresses or changes of address; new ownership; destroyed or removed property; changes in special program classifications such as the open space taxation or senior citizen exemption programs; and computer input errors.In all, about one-fifth of the county's more than 48,000 taxable parcels qualify for a revised notice for one reason or another this year. Baenen said the percentage of revised notices has been higher than normal over the past couple years because the county is polishing a new computerized system.Appeals of assessments or valuations must be filed within 30 days of the notice's mailing date. The first set of notices were mailed on Nov. 30. Anyone receiving a revised notice is given a new 30-day appeal period. Historically, revised notices were mailed out as they were processed but that system led to a myriad of appeal deadlines for the Assessor's office and the Board of Equalization to keep track of. This time around, all revised notices will be mailed on Friday, Dec. 29 said Baenen. That means the deadline for appealing a revised notice is the close of business on Monday, Jan. 29. "

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