The King County Council on Wednesday passed Ordinance 2019-0268, sponsored by Councilmember Jeanne Kohl-Welles at the request of King County Assessor John Wilson. The ordinance implements a bill passed by the legislature this year – also requested by Wilson – to streamline and simplify the process to correct “manifest errors” made by county assessors, and issue refunds for overpayment of taxes.
“We work hard to get right,” Wilson said. “But when we make a mistake we want to fix it. I want to thank Councilmember Kohl-Welles for her leadership in getting this common sense ordinance passed.”
Manifest errors are errors in description of the property that can be corrected by the assessor without exercising appraisal judgement. Examples of a manifest error would be incorrect square footage of a residence, or an error in the legal description.
“This legislation is another positive step for taxpayers in our county, streamlining and refining a process that was overdue for an overhaul,” Kohl-Welles said.
Under state law, county assessors can correct manifest errors made up to six years in the past. This change in the law will dramatically reduce the amount of paperwork and process required of taxpayers during that process.