There are four types of exemptions allowed for personal property:
- Head of Family Exemption
- Exemption for Non-Profit Entities
- Destroyed Property
- Farm Machinery and Equipment (PDF)
Businesses owned by sole proprietors, who are head of a family, are eligible to receive an exemption on their first $15,000 of the actual value of their assessable personal property. PLEASE NOTE: This exemption is not available to partnerships or corporations.
According to WAC 458-16-115, a "head of a family" includes the following residents of the state of Washington:
- Any person receiving an old age pension under the laws of this state;
- Any citizen of the United States, over the age of sixty-five years, who has resided in the state of Washington continuously for ten years;
- The husband, wife, or domestic partner, when the claimant is a married person or has entered into a domestic partnership, or a surviving spouse or surviving domestic partner, who has neither remarried nor entered into a subsequent domestic partnership; and
- Any person who resides with, and has under his or her care and maintenance, any of the following:
- His or her minor child or grandchild, or the minor child or grandchild of his or her deceased spouse or deceased domestic partner;
- His or her minor brother or sister or the minor child of a deceased brother or sister;
- His or her father, mother, grandmother, or grandfather, or the father, mother, grandmother, or grandfather of a deceased spouse or deceased domestic partner; or
- Any of the other relatives mentioned in this subsection who have attained the age of majority and are unable to take care of or support themselves.
Determination of the exempt status from personal property assessment and taxation for non-profit entities is a function of the Washington State Department of Revenue. Application must be made annually to the State Department of Revenue. RCW 84.36.020 allows exemption of church-owned property used for church purposes. Property must be used for such things as a church, parking, parsonage, convent, and caretaker’s residence. The land for which an exemption is granted may not exceed five acres. After initial application, a renewal application must be submitted annually.
RCW’s 84.36.030 through 84.36.350 allow tax exemptions for property used in character building, benevolent, protective or rehabilitative social services, camp facilities, veterans and relief organizations, libraries, orphanages, day care centers, nursing homes and hospitals, schools and colleges, art, scientific and historical collections, fire companies, humane societies, musical and artistic associations, public assembly halls, certain public authorities, and sheltered workshops for the disabled. Exemption must be claimed annually and ceases upon cessation of the exemption-qualifying use of the property. Applications must be made to the State Department of Revenue.
RCW 84.70.010 provides that, if on or before December 31st in any calendar year, any property placed upon the assessment roll in that year is destroyed in whole or in part, the true cash value of such property shall be reduced for that year in an equitable amount as determined in other provisions of the law. To apply for this tax relief, complete Taxpayer's Claim for Reduction of Assessments and a Petition for Property Tax Refund. After printing and completing these forms, please mail to:
Clark County Assessor’s Office
P.O. Box 5000
Vancouver, WA 98666-5000
Or bring the form to our department located on the 2nd floor of 1300 West Franklin Street, in Vancouver, Washington.