Personal property tax in Washington State...
Personal Property Valuation Guidelines
Characteristics - Personal Property’s primary characteristic is its mobility. It includes most machinery, equipment, furniture and fixtures associated with commercial, industrial or agricultural enterprises. Business inventory held for resale are exempt from property tax. However, supplies consumed in the operation of a business are taxable. The assessor uses the affidavit to value property for taxes due the following year. Personal property tax rates are the same as for real property.
Affidavit Deadline and Tax Rates - Everyone who uses personal property in a business must complete a personal property affidavit by April 30 each year. When completing the form you must:
- List all assets you own as of January 1, including those assets fully depreciated in your accounting records and assets in storage.
- Identify each personal property category. For example, office equipment should be broken into separate categories of personal computers, network servers, printers, phones, etc.
- Include the total purchase cost of each item. This excludes sales or use tax, but includes costs to make the item usable such as installation and freight.
- Include the date each item was acquired.
Return Listings To:
Walla Walla County Assessor’s Office
Personal Property Department
315 W Main St
Walla Walla, WA 99362
Phone: 509-524-2571 Fax: 509-524-2576
Email Alyssa Rohde at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Property Owner’s Responsibility - As a property owner, you are responsible for filing a personal property listing each year that you have taxable property even if you do not receive the form by mail. If you have multiple business locations, you must complete a separate listing for each location. The assessed value is allocated to the taxing district based on where the property is located.
Types of Personal Property - Unless specifically exempt, all tangible personal property is subject to personal property tax. The major categories of taxable personal property include the following:
Machinery and Equipment, Fixtures and Furniture:
- Office furniture and fixtures such as desks, chairs, etc.
- Office equipment such as computers and printers
- Store fixtures and equipment
- Computer software (canned and embedded)
- Manufacturing machinery and equipment
- Construction equipment
Farm Equipment, Machinery, Supplies and Tools: Most farm equipment, machinery and supplies are subject to personal property tax. An exemption or partial exemption may apply to some farm machinery and equipment. Contact the Walla Walla County Assessor’s Office for exemption information.
Leasehold Improvements: Personal property tax applies when the lessee/tenant retains ownership of the leasehold improvements, or is required to remove them at the end of the lease. For example, the improvements a lessee makes to a leased space are taxable as leasehold improvements.
Supplies, Materials and Tools: Taxable materials and supplies include office, shop, janitorial, brochures, promotional materials, fuel, spare parts, etc. The does not apply to items that are held for resale or that become an ingredient or component of an article manufactured for sale.
The Personal Property Notice - When the Affidavit is processed and the property valued and entered on the assessment roll, a Personal Property Assessment Notice is mailed to the taxpayer. This notice shows the assessed value that will be used to calculate the tax bill for your property. Contact this office if you have any questions about how this value was determined.
We can review the value with you to confirm it is accurate according to the assessment guidelines we use.
If you have decided to sell or close your business, please contact us prior to finalization. This information provides us with information needed to update the business/farm account with the new owner’s information. This update will be provided to the Walla Walla County Treasurer’s Office to ensure the final tax bill is sent to the appropriate person.
Additional Information - More information can be found by contacting the Assessor’s Office at 509-524-2560 and from the DOR online at http://dor.wa.gov/Docs/Pubs/Prop_Tax/PersProp.pdf