Personal Property Taxes ExplainedMost people know that property tax applies to real property, however, some may not know that property tax also applies to personal property. Most personal property owned by individuals is exempt. For example, household goods and personal effects are not subject to property tax. However, if these items are used in a business, property tax applies. Personal property is subject to the same levy rate as real property. The characteristic that distinguishes real and personal property is mobility. Real property includes land, structures, improvements to land, and certain equipment affixed to land or structures.
Unless specifically exempt, all tangible personal property is taxable, including items such as:
office equipment, communication equipment, supplies and materials not held for sale or not components of a product
tools, furniture, rugs and fixtures used in a business
leased or rented equipment, leasehold and tenant improvements, and lessee-owned improvements on public land
machinery and equipment used in agriculture, construction, manufacturing and logging
signs, billboards, poster panels, display samples not held for sale
commercial vessels not subject to excise tax, off road vehicles, drag racers and similar competition vehicles not licensed
rental video tapes, discs and game cartridges
boathouses, portable buildings and office trailers
Exempt personal property includes household goods and personal effects, unless used in a business, custom software, livestock, inventories held solely for resale and intangible personal property such as money, franchise agreements, personal service contracts, patents, copyrights, customer lists, brand names, licenses and intellectual property.
In addition, sole proprietors are eligible for a $15,000 Head of Household exemption deducted from the business's total assessed value.
An exemption for certain farm equipment is also available using this form (.DOC, external link).
Finally, some real estate and/or personal property is exempt from property tax based on its use or ownership. A detailed summary of exemptions is provided on pages 1-49 of this Department of Revenue report (.PDF, external link).
More details on types of personal property, available exemptions, and the assessment process are provided in the Department of Revenue's publication, Personal Property Tax (.PDF, external link).
How is my property assessed?
Personal property assessments are based on information provided by taxpayers on a personal property listing form, where you provide a description of the personal property, its cost and year of acquisition. We use this information and the Department of Revenue Personal Property Valuation Guidelines to determine value, taking into consideration the type of property, its cost and age.
If your business does not have a personal property account number, you can complete an initial form by clicking here for an excel spreadsheet form or a printable form that you can mail into our office (.DOC). If your business has a personal property account number and needs another listing or if you have questions about how to complete the form, please contact us at 509-773-3715 or by e-mail at PersonalProperty@co.klickitat.wa.us.
Personal property forms for existing accounts are mailed or electronically transmitted the first of each year and must be returned by April 30. Filing extensions are not granted and a tax penalty of 5 percent per month will be applied to listings received after the deadline, up a maximum of 25 percent of the tax due. The assessor may waive the penalty if the late filing is due to reasonable cause.
When the listing is processed and your property valued and entered on the assessment roll, a Personal Property Assessment Notice will be mailed to you showing the assessed value used to calculate your personal property tax.
This notice shows the assessed value that will be used to calculate the tax bill for your property. If you have any questions about how this value was determined, please call us at 509-773-3715 or by e-mail at PersonalProperty@co.klickitat.wa.us.
Can I appeal?
You can file an appeal if you believe your assessment is excessive or incorrect. Appeals must be filed with the county's Board of Equalization within 30 days of the mail date on the front of your value change notice. Appeals filed after this date will not be accepted. The appeal deadline is shown on your Valuation Notice.
Closing or selling a business?
If you have decided to sell or close your business, please contact us to obtain an Advance Tax Request form (.PDF). This form provides us with information we need to update the business account with the new owner's information or to cancel the account if the business is closing. This will ensure that the final tax bill is sent to the appropriate person.
Date of Source Material: 10/19/2011
Source: Klickitat County Assessor
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Darlene R. Johnson, Assessor
205 S. Columbus Ave
MS-CH 1 Rm. 200
Goldendale, WA 98620
Phone: 509 773-3715
or 800 764-2235
Fax: 509 773-6397
Hours: 9 am to 5 pm M-F
For Real Property information:
For Personal Property information: firstname.lastname@example.org
White Salmon Pioneer Center
Hours: 9 am to 5 pm M, Tu, Th
Closed for Lunch
and by Appointment