Spokane Journal of Business

Spokane County extends valuation deadline

Staff will use more time to explore virus effect

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Pointing to the crushing effect COVID-19 may be having property values—especially commercial properties that have lost rental income—the Spokane County Assessor’s Office says valuation notices to property owners won’t occur until August this year.

The current year’s values are used to calculate taxes the following year. Under Washington state law, the established values are required to reflect a property’s market value as of Jan. 1 of the assessment year.

In most years, the notices to all property owners start getting sent out at about this time of the year.

“In January, our office had no idea that the coronavirus would have such an impact on all our lives,” Spokane County Assessor Tom Konis says in a news release announcing the delay. “We feel that it is important to take some additional time to evaluate the effects that governmental restrictions have had on the market value properties in Spokane County,” he says.

Staff members in the office will use the additional time to measure the impact, if any, on the recent market sales of all property types. Several sectors of the area market have experienced a loss of rental income or have been closed due to statewide stay-at-home orders.

The Spokane Association of Realtors says that so far, the market value of residential properties hasn’t been impacted to the extent of commercial properties that were forced to close or are completely out of business.

In its most recent report, the association reported the median sales price for single-family homes sold through its Multiple Listing Service was $280,100, an increase of nearly 10% compared with the April 2019 median sales price of $255,000.

Unit sales of single-family homes declined, however, with 508 units sold in April, down almost 12% compared with 575 units sold in the year earlier month, MLS data shows.

Kevin Blocker
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