The primary responsibility of the county assessor is to determine the value of all taxable real and personal property in both the incorporated and unincorporated areas of the county for the purpose of determining the tax liabilities of the taxpayers in the various taxing districts in an equitable manner. The county assessor is responsible for the calculation of property tax levies necessary to raise revenues for government services and administers a variety of tax exemptions, including the exemption and deferral programs for low income senior citizens and people with disabilities.
A number of record-keeping and administrative functions are necessary to appraise property, determine property valuations, and calculate tax levies in accordance with the legal requirements. The county assessor generally maintains the tax assessor's parcel maps and legal descriptions of tax parcels as well as other records relating to property valuation.
Requirements for accurate and timely property value determinations and valuations consistent with applicable land development plans and regulations have made the county assessor's responsibilities increasingly complex (see RCW 36.70B.230, 84.40.030, and 84.41.030). A taxpayer who disagrees with the county assessor's value determinations has a right to appeal the decision to the county board of equalization, which is basically the county board of property tax appeals.