1333 Columbia Park Trail, Suite 220    |    Richland, WA 99352    |   509.735.4444

509.735.4444

1333 Columbia Park Trail, Suite 220
Richland, WA 99352

Real Property

Valuing the Family Farm for Property Tax Purposes Part II

Photo of Farm Land emphasizing the importance of Washington farm tax planning

When the time comes to consider transitioning the family farm, there are some valuation rules which are worth considering. Washington property tax provides a tax savings for lands classified as a farm. The Washington and Federal estate tax regimes provide value reductions for farm property as well. The Federal estate tax may soon become a thing of the past due to President Trump’s recent tax reform proposal, but as of yet the tax is still in effect.

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Valuing the Family Farm for Property Tax Purposes – Part I

Grouping of family farms and property tax considerations

An owner may apply for his or her farm to be valued based on its current use as opposed to its true and fair value. Property tax is assessed on the value of real estate as determined by the county assessor.Generally, Washington real property values are determined based on the “true and fair value” which includes criteria such as sales of similar property within the last five years and potential income uses. The Open Space Taxation Act created three property classifications which allow property to be taxed based on current use value: open space, farm and agricultural land, and timberland. Farm values will be derived from the farm’s earning capacity. This means a farm may be valued as a farm rather than the subdivision it could be.

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