By Paul Gottlieb
Peninsula Daily News
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“Feel free to ask for ID,” County Assessor Pam Rushton said Wednesday.
The inspections, which will determine property values for 2014 taxes, began in Port Angeles in late 2012 and likely will end Aug. 30, Rushton said.
Parcels throughout the county are revalued every year for property-tax purposes but are physically revalued every six years, as required by state law, she said.
Valuations for the other five years are based on an annual statistical analysis of sales.
During their on-site visits, appraisers always take photos and go onto property if it appears there have been changes made to the parcel in order to review those changes, Rushton said.
“A lot of times, we have to drive on the property to get to it,” she added.
“We're really looking for changes, and a lot of times, you can't see that unless you drive onto their property.
“If there appear to be changes or something does not appear to be correct based on the data from the previous inspection, they will stop,” she said.
Inspections of new structures and additions include the measuring of exterior dimensions of the improvements on the property, she said.
“They are supposed to let people know they are there and give them a card.
“Sometimes, people don't answer the door, then get mad at us for being there.
“Occasionally, we are denied access, and we do estimates,” she said.
Enter only if asked
Appraisers enter buildings only if asked to by a property owner during an inspection.
Businesses open to the public are the exception to that rule, Rushton said.
The appraisers are in vehicles marked with county emblems, and each appraiser carries photo identification, Rushton said.
Rushton's staff also is examining new construction throughout the county.
Property owners may contact or visit the Assessor's Office at the county courthouse, 223 E. Fourth St., for more information or to discuss their assessment appraisals.
The Clallam County Courthouse is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Mondays through Fridays except for furlough days and holidays.
Closure dates are at www.clallam.net.
These are the first physical inspections of Port Angeles-area properties since 2007, when the tax-code area was valued at $1.95 billion for 2008 taxes.
Those taxes funded the city general fund, a city bond, a Port Angeles School District maintenance-and-operations levy and a school district bond, Port of Port Angeles operations, the North Olympic Library System and Clallam County Hospital District 2 at a total levy rate of $8.90 per $1,000 of valuation.
The city and immediate vicinity were valued at $1.51 billion in 2012 for 2013 taxes at a levy rate of $11.88 per $1,000 of valuation.
The taxes funded the same districts as in 2008, plus the William Shore Memorial Pool District, which voters approved in 2009.
The annual Assessor's Office report for 2013 is available at http://tinyurl.com/amry4yq.
Physical inspections in 2014 will focus on the West End of Clallam County.
Senior Staff Writer Paul Gottlieb can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5060, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.