Property Tax Relief & Exemptions

Destroyed or Damaged Property
If your property is damaged or destroyed, you may be eligible for a reduction in your assessed value. Destroyed Property Claim forms are available in the Assessor's Office or from the Department of Revenue on the link above.

Agricultural, Open Space, & Forestlands

If you have agricultural, open space or forestlands, you may apply to classify your land under the Current Use / Open Space program (RCW 84.34), or the Designated Forestland program, (RCW 84.33). A current use assessment generally means a reduced assessed value for the duration of the classification. There may be penalties and interest charges for removal from the classification. Contact the Assessor's Office for information and application forms. The application must be made by December 31 for classification in the following year. (See Farm & Ag/Forestland/Open Space Taxation)

Home Improvement 

If you improve your single family residence by remodeling, adding new rooms, decks, patios or other improvements, you may apply for a 3-year exemption from taxes on the value of the physical improvement. Physical improvements do not include normal maintenance items. An application for the exemption must be filed with the Assessor's Office prior to completion of the project.

Senior Citizens & Disabled Persons

If you are a senior citizen or disabled person, you may qualify for property tax relief. To be eligible for the Property Tax Exemption program, you must:

 Be age 61 or older on December 3one of filing year (no age requirement for disabled persons).

  • The owner and occupant of a single family dwelling, mobile home, or 1 unit in multi-unit or cooperative housing.
  • Have combined disposable income of $35,000 or less for the prior year (including income of spouse and co-tenant).
  • File a claim with the County Assessor between January 2 and December 31.
Your household income determines the amount of exemption from regular property taxes or excess levies.

If you are a senior citizen or disabled person whose income is below $40,000, you may defer property taxes and special assessments on up to 80 percent of the equity in your home. Unlike the senior citizens and disabled persons exemption program, deferred taxes are a lien on the property. This lien becomes payable, together with interest, upon sale, transfer or inheritance of the property.
(See Senior Citizen/Disabled Tax Relief)

Other Miscellaneous Exemptions 

Your family automobile, household goods, personal effects and home furnishings are not subject to property tax. However, personal property tax may be due if these items are used in a business. Businesses are required to report business personal property assets to the assessor every year. 

Non-Profit Use - Churches, government units and many non-profit agencies do not pay tax on property used for a tax-exempt purpose. The Department of Revenue determines which properties are exempt.
Service Members/Widows of Veterans - Active members of the Armed Services and Widows of Veterans may qualify for tax relief. The Department of Revenue administrates these programs. Applications for Service Members and Widows of Veterans are available at the Assessor's Office. 

Farm Machinery and Equipment - Certain Farm Machinery and Equipment used in a commercial farm enterprise may qualify for a partial personal property tax exemption. The Assessor's Office administrates this program. (see Personal Property)

Biodiesel/Alcohol/Wood Biomass/Anaerobic Digester Fuel Manufacturing Equipment - Real and Personal Property used in the manufacturing of Alcohol Fuel, Biodiesel Fuel, Biodiesel Feedstock, Wood Biomass Fuel or Fuels from the Operation of an Anaerobic Digester may qualify for a tax exemption. The Assessor's Office administrates applications for this program. 

Historic Property Improvement - In the City of Bellingham, certain improvements to qualifying Historic Property may be exempted from real property taxation. Contact the City of Bellingham, Planning & Community Development Department, 360-778-8300.

Urban Area Multi-Family Improvement - In the City of Bellingham, certain multi-family improvements developed in designated urban areas may qualify for exemption from real property taxation. Contact the City of Bellingham, Planning & Community Development Department, 360-778-8300.

Tribally Owned Non-Trust (Fee) Property - Non-trust status property owned by federally recognized tribes may qualify for property tax exemption. The Department of Revenue administrates applications and qualification for this program.

Important: On line "Fill-in" Forms are provided to assist taxpayers, however, "Fill-in" forms cannot be submitted on-line. Many forms require submittal with valid signatures. If you have questions, please contact the Assessor's Office.