Board of Equalization

Purpose

The Board of Equalization hears property tax appeals and complaints regarding the Assessor´s property value determination. The Board is responsible for ensuring that all properties are valued at 100% of market value and that comparable properties are assessed at comparable values. The Board may either lower, raise, or sustain the land or building assessments. Appeals of the Board's decision are made to the Washington State Board of Tax Appeals.

Meetings

The Board of Equalization convenes each assessment year and continues in session during regular Council office hours until all taxpayer appeals are heard or otherwise resolved.  The hearings are generally held on Wednesdays and Thursdays at the Whatcom County Council Office, and are open public meetings on an as-needed basis. Please contact our office for upcoming hearing dates.

If you would like to attend a hearing, please use the information below to join the Zoom meeting by phone. You will be asked to identify yourself, as we keep a record of all attendees. Upcoming hearing dates can be found here and are subject to change without notice. 

Please contact the clerk of the Board with questions regarding the board's schedule, for options to join the hearing, or if you require special accommodations.

Members

The Board of Equalization has 5 members appointed by the County Council:

  • Wes VanDeMark, District 1 
  • John Bruton, District 2 
  • David Simpson, District 3 
  • Sonja Merk, District 4 
  • James Day, District 5 
  • W. Thomas Follis, At-Large Alternate
  • Vacant, At-Large Alternate

Vacancies

Term Information

    • 3-year terms, 2 term limit, 1 year separation required after 2 terms before being eligible to reapply

Duties

Board members are selected for their knowledge of real estate values and each member is required by law to attend a 2-day course on the valuation of real property. The Board is responsible for hearing appeals of assessed valuation of property.


Authority

Additional Information