Board of Equalization

The health and safety of the community and our employees is a priority.  In accordance with guidance from State and local officials, the BOE office is currently restricted to employees only.  Staff will continue to assist the public by mail, email and phone.



Purpose


The Board of Equalization hears property tax appeals and complaints regarding the Assessor´s property value determination. The Board is responsible for ensuring that all properties are valued at 100% of market value and that comparable properties are assessed at comparable values. The Board may either lower, raise, or sustain the land or building assessments. Appeals of the Board's decision are made to the Washington State Board of Tax Appeals.

Meetings


The Board of Equalization convenes each assessment year and continues in session during regular Council office hours until all taxpayer appeals are heard or otherwise resolved.  The hearings are generally held on Wednesdays and Thursdays at the Whatcom County Council Office, and are open public meetings on an as-needed basis. Please contact our office for upcoming hearing dates.

All of our hearings are being held virtually at this time.  For hearing schedules and meeting information please visit our BOE Virtual Meetings page


Members



The Board of Equalization has 5 members appointed by the County Council:
  • Wes VanDeMark, District 1 Term ends 1/31/2022
  • John Bruton, District 2 Term ends 1/31/2023
  • David Simpson, District 3 Term ends 1/31/2022
  • Sonja Merk, District 4 Term ends 1/31/2021
  • Tammy Valenti, District 5 Term ends 1/31/2022

Vacancies

Term Information

    • 3-year terms, 2 term limit, 1 year separation required after 2 terms before being eligible to reapply

Duties

Board members are selected for their knowledge of real estate values and each member is required by law to attend a 2-day course on the valuation of real property. The Board is responsible for hearing appeals of assessed valuation of property.

Authority


  • Revised Code of Washington (RCW) 84.48.014
  • Washington Administrative Code (WAC) 458-14
  • Whatcom County Code Section 2.21

Additional Information