Chelan County Assessor

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Assessor Welcome Message

Dear Chelan County Taxpayers,

As a reminder to our taxpayers, our assessment process is always a year behind.  The activity we saw last year in the real estate market will be addressed through the assessed values for 2022 which is what you will pay taxes on in 2023.  Your 2022 property taxes are based on sales that occurred in 2020, which were used to set assessed values as of January 1, 2021.  Those values were mailed in June of 2021.

This discussion, although it seems like it’s in the rear view mirror, is really about activity in the first year of COVID.  The County shut-down for COVID occurred the 3rd week of March, 2020.  At that point, one would expect that everything would slow down, but that is not what happened. Although the COVID restrictions were in place, it seemed that the real estate market surprised us all.

Our real estate market in 2020 saw unprecedented increases in value.  Properties were receiving multiple offers, and often selling for more than the listing price. 

In 2021, we saw more new construction permits and values than ever.   There are various contributing factors to the increase in values overall.  One is the incredible increase in supply costs and supply chain shortages for construction.  The mortgage rates have remained at an all-time low, offering more purchasing power to the marketplace. 

This was included in the letter from last year and still remains true:

“The COVID-19 shut down has done more than impact just our retail and service industries, it has enabled large companies and corporations to allow, and encourage, their employees to work remotely, and have found it cost effective.  What this means is that these same employees that were once restricted to living within commuting distance can now live wherever they want, and what better place to live than Chelan County?  I suspect that, in part, is driving our value increases as the property listing numbers are down, but demand remains high.”

We follow the west side real estate market closely as we typically mirror their activity, but lag behind by 12-18 months.  Although the market is starting to level out here in Chelan County (tail end of 2021), the market was climbing, at an unprecedented rate in 2020 and the first 3 quarters of 2021.  One would think that the surprise would wear off after now 2 full years of this, but I’m still constantly amazed by the sales coming through. I predicted last year that values would continue to climb, and that is exactly what we saw.  We are in uncharted territory, and it certainly begs the questions, “how much more can our real estate market absorb?”

Hopefully the values will stabilize but there are so many moving parts and uncertainties.  The higher our values climb, and the higher the cost of new construction (supplies and supply chain delays) becomes, the less affordable our community becomes for those that work locally.  When

the median home value for our County is sneaking up on $500,000, and small starter homes are selling for $200/sf or more, what is our affordability index?

As the cost of home ownership is in the rise, the legislature is, again, dropping all kinds of bills to offer tax relief to property owners.  Please remember – if there is proposed legislation for an “exemption”, that just means that whoever is not getting the new exemption, is paying MORE!  The same amount of money is collected, it’s how that tax burden is distributed.

I repeat this every year, but it’s worth saying again:   Exemption = Tax Shift

With the continued change in worker housing requirements on the west side, I struggle with the historic “mirror” affect we have had of the west side.  Will it still be a good indicator of what we can expect in the coming months?  If it holds true, we may not have seen the last of rising real estate prices.

We were unable to hold any Community Meetings again in 2021, and will not be holding them in 2022 either.  The Courthouse is now open to the public, and we have enjoyed seeing our customers face to face again, with proper precautions, of course.  Continuing to provide great customer service to our residents is a priority for our office.

Please feel free to call our office if you have questions or concerns.  Our appraisers are in the field doing their revaluation inspections, with proper PPE, and our office staff are all here 8-5 M-F to serve you.

We hope you are staying healthy and look forward to whatever “normal” will eventually be.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact me at (509) 667-6367 or deanna.walter@co.chelan.wa.us

Sincerely,

Deanna Walter, Chelan County Assessor

 

What We Do

The Assessor’s office is responsible for determining the value of all taxable real and personal property in the county on a fair and equitable basis, along with maintaining accurate and accessible property information, providing timely and accurate assessments for tax purposes, and a detailed parcel map showing all parcels within the County. Chelan County is now annually updating all properties according to market sales, and continues to do physical inspections of every property on a 4-year cycle. Washington State law requires property to be assessed at 100% of fair market value.

Your property taxes fund state and county services, including roads, transit, schools, libraries, parks, hospitals, fire and rescue, law enforcement, environmental and social services.  Information such as parcel numbers, ownership, tax code areas, and assessed valuations for all property within the county can be obtained on-line through the property search of the Assessor's web site, or by calling the assessor's office during business hours.

Posted: 12/12/2014 01:06 PM
Last Updated: 02/11/2022 08:48 AM

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Chelan County Calendar

Upcoming events and schedules at the county!

  • 27
    Jul 2022
    07:00 PM - 09:00 PM

    Planning Commission - July 27, 2022

    Posted by: Community Development

    400 Douglas Street
  • 25
    Jul 2022
    09:00 AM - 05:00 PM

    Registration deadline for new voters or address updates by mail, online, email or over the phone.

    Posted by: Chelan County Elections

    Registration deadline for new voters or address updates by mail, online, email or over the phone.

  • 20
    Jul 2022
    01:00 PM - 03:00 PM

    Hearing Examiner - July 20, 2022

    Posted by: Community Development

    By Zoom Video Conference
  • 19
    Jul 2022
    04:00 PM - 05:00 PM

    Observer Training

    Posted by: Chelan County Elections

  • 15
    Jul 2022
    08:00 AM - 05:00 PM

    Ballots will be mailed to voters

    Posted by: Chelan County Elections

    Ballots will be mailed to voters