Personal Property Information
Personal Property is property that is characterized by it's mobility. Land and improvements are considered Real Property. Personal Property is generally used in the operation of business activities and includes, but is not limited to, furniture and fixtures, machinery and equipment; supplies and materials not held for sale or do not become an ingredient or component of an article being produced for sale.
There are two types of Personal Property: tangible items, which have physical existence; and intangible items, which consist of rights and privileges having a legal but not a physical existence.
Some Personal Property is excluded from taxation. This includes livestock, inventories held solely for resale, intangible property except for software licenses and personal effects, and household goods in actual use by their owner (RCW 84.04.080).
It is important to note that the person who owns the property as of January 1 of the assessment year owes the tax due the following year. The tax is due even if the business closes or the property is sold or transferred. For example, a property owner lists equipment on the personal property affidavit due by April 30, 2008. In August 2008, the property owner sells the equipment (or business). The property owner owes the full amount of taxes due in 2009 for the 2008 assessment year (prior year); however, the lien follows the property. This means that a new owner can be held responsible if the previous owner does not pay the tax.
The tax lien levied on personal property is a lien from the date of assessment. No sale or transfer of property shall in any way affect the tax lien. Check with the County Treasurer’s Office before buying or selling personal property to protect property against lien (RCW 84.60.020).
Treasurer Seizing Personal Property for Taxes
The Treasurer may distrain (seize) and sell personal property taxes if taxes are delinquent.
For more information about Personal Property Taxes view this video