Can the county assessor move our lot line for the sole purpose of raising our taxes?

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Can the county assessor move our lot line for the sole purpose of raising our taxes?

Approximately 31 years ago, our family placed a mobile home on the same lot as our primary home. This was done so that we would only be taxed as personal property. This year the county has moved our property line so that it breaks the mobile home onto its own lot. This has raised our taxes $142,000. We have 3 lots and there has never been any conflicts regarding property lines. We are the only family in this area that the assessor’s office has moved property lines. Is there a statute that can prevent the county from doing this? We are on a fixed income and cannot pay this tax?

Asked on July 11, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Washington

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

To really give you a definite answer to your question I need to know why the county in which you reside moved the property line of your parcel(s). Also was there one parcel before the property line move/change and now you have more parcels than you had before?

Usually a tax assessor justs assesses the value of property for property tax purposes and has no say regarding moving property boundaries on its own in that property boundaries are set. To change them the property owner usually files an application with the county tax assessor, there is notice to the community of the request with an opportunity to oppose and the request goes to hearing usually before the board of supervisors of the county where the property is located.

A short answer to your question is no, the county tax assessor cannot move or change the property lines of a person's property for the sole purpose of raising property taxes. There has to be a specific reason for the change.


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