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King County Department of Assessments

Fair, Equitable, and Understandable Property Valuations

Department of Assessments

500 Fourth Avenue,
Suite ADM-AS-0708,
Seattle, WA 98104

Office Hours:
Mon - Fri
8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

TEL: 206-296-7300
FAX: 206-296-5107
TTY: 206-296-7888

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Glossary of terms for residential parcels

TAX YEAR
Properties are assessed as of January 1 of any given year for taxes paid the following year. For example, properties assessed in 2004 will pay taxes in 2005.

TOTAL LIVING AREA
Total finished living space. This would include finished space in a basement.

TRUE AND FAIR VALUE
In Washington, all property must be valued and assessed at one hundred percent of true and fair value unless otherwise provided by law. "True and fair value" means market value and is the amount of money a buyer of property willing but not obligated to buy would pay a seller of property willing but not obligated to sell, taking into consideration all uses to which the property is adapted and might in reason be applied. (WAC 458-07-030 (1) ).