The Assessor identifies and determines the value of all taxable real and personal property in the county. These values are used to calculate and set levy rates for the various taxing districts and to equitably assign tax responsibilities among the taxpayers.
In accordance with RCW 36.16
the public elects the Assessor to a four-year term. Duties and responsibilities of the Assessor are contained largely in state laws and administrative codes. The Assessor works closely with the Washington Department of Revenue to implement these laws and codes. Besides valuing all existing and new construction taxable property the Assessor’s office is responsible for other important programs. Other functions including appraisals, are the senior citizen and disabled person exemption programs. Another important program for a county such as ours that has diversified agriculture is the farm exemption, otherwise known as “Open-Space”. Besides calculating the senior and junior taxing districts budget allotment to determine their various levy rates, we must also maintain land records, which can encompass segregation’s of plats, “short and long” and consolidations. These and other functions explain some of the many responsibilities that the Assessor’s office provides to all citizens within Benton County.
Additional information about property taxes in Washington is available from the Department of Revenue. The Homeowner’s Guide to Property Taxes
provides an overview of the programs administered by the Assessor.