Paying under Protest

There are two ways to appeal your property tax valuation. You may file a petition contesting your valuation with the County Board of Equalization, or you can file a written protest at the time you pay your tax and then file an action in superior or federal court. If you are filing in superior or federal court, you must take action on your own. You can get more information about filing with the Board of Equalization, from your local County Board of Equalization or Assessor's Office.

The following information explains the procedure of filing a written protest when you pay property tax.Taxpayers are required to take the following actions:

  • Present a written protest to the County Treasurer at the time of payment of the tax.
  • List in writing all the reasons why you feel the tax is unfair.  

Filing your protest at the time you pay the property tax will allow you to petition a case with the superior court. You must take further action to file a claim in court on your own.

The county treasurer cannot provide you with any form of legal advice. The responsibilities of the treasurer are limited to accepting petitions and notifying the effected taxing districts. This allows the taxing districts to make informed decisions when facing possible refunds for taxes already paid.

You may want to consult an attorney before submitting your letter of protest. The law has very strict requirements and you may jeopardize your case if the letter of protest is incomplete. A copy of the Washington Administrative Code 458-18-215 explaining the protest procedure can be found here.