The 2021 Change of Value Notices were mailed October 8, 2021. State law requires County Assessors to appraise every property annually, with an effective assessment date of January 1st for most properties, and July 31st for new construction. Change of Value Notices are not tax bills, and an increase in value does not mean a proportional increase in property tax.
The Assessor must value all property in Whatcom County at full market value, per state law. Sales from 2020 were analyzed to develop an assessed value as of January 1, 2021. The market continued to appreciate through 2020 for most locations and types of properties, which is reflected in the January 1, 2021 assessed values. Total Assessed Value in the county increased approximately $43.2 billion, which is a 12.8% increase from 2020, and includes approx. $667.6M in new construction value.
Every year, 1/6th of properties in Whatcom County are physically inspected and reassessed. In 2021, the Assessor’s Office inspected Lummi Peninsula, Birchwood, Cordata, King Mountain, part of Alabama Hill, and North Lake Whatcom neighborhoods. These properties were brought to market, with a wide range of percentage changes.
The remaining 5/6th of the county properties are adjusted based on a statistical update, from analysis of sales of similar properties. Increases in values of single-family residential properties ranged from 8-27%, with a median of approx. 15%. Multifamily properties with 20 units or less increased approx. 24% in parts of Bellingham, Ferndale, Sumas, Nooksack and Everson. Some commercial properties throughout the county saw increases as well.
Due to COVID-19, and for the safety of the public and our staff, the Assessor’s office is open with limited lobby capacity. Appointments are encouraged to reduce wait times, please call or email to schedule. Most questions can be answered by phone or email. Additionally, there is information online with recently updated web pages that include interactive map search features.