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Thurston County Treasurer Glossary

Amount Saved with Senior/Disabled Exemption

The calculation of the amount of additional tax that would have been paid if the property did not benefit from the senior/disabled exemption.

Assessed Value

The county assessor’s determination of property value used as the basis for taxation.

Assessments

A charge or obligation imposed by a government upon property specifically benefiting from a local district activity.

Conservation District

Except for forest lands, an assessment on all parcels in the county to support the education, technical and financial assistance on local natural resource issues provided by the Thurston Conservation District.

Drainage Districts

There are several small districts within the county that are formed to deal with flood control, diking, drainage and related water conditions. Each districts assesses only parcels within their boundaries.

Noxious Weed Control

An assessment against most property in the county designed to raise funds to protect all lands of the county from the degrading impact of exotic, invasive weeds.

State Forest Fire

A state-wide assessment on all unimproved acreage. The assessment is administered by the Department of Natural Resources and the funds are used in support of forest fire protection on 12 million acres of private and state owned forest land.

Stormwater

The county storm and surface water utility assesses property in the utility boundaries and uses the funds to insure safety of roads, minimize water quality degradation and property damage, protect the public health and foster other beneficial public uses.

Delinquencies

Taxes and/or assessments that are not paid by the due date.

Distraint

Seizure and detention of property for the purpose of obtaining payment of outstanding property tax obligations.

Exemptions

All property is subject to taxation, unless specifically exempted under state law. Exemptions exist for nonprofit organizations, senior citizens, heads of household (personal property only), historical property and the remodel exemption.

First Half Payment

One half of taxes, $50 or greater, due on April 30th.

Interest

A 1% per month charge against the full tax amount outstanding that continues to accrue until paid. The interest is not pro-rated nor subject to compounding.

Non-Voter Approved Tax

Any levy authorized to be collected by state statute and imposed by the elected officials of the district or the state.

Property #

An 11 digit number used by the assessor to identify units of property. The 11 digit number represents a code that is shorthand for the physical location of the property. See the county assessor’s web site for an explanation of this code.

Penalty

An amount, in addition to interest, collected on current year delinquent taxes. The penalty is 3% added on June 1st and another 8% added on December 1st. Penalty applies only to current year past due taxes.

Personal Property

Mobile property including most machinery, equipment, furniture and fixtures associated with commercial, industrial or agricultural enterprises. Business inventories are exempt from property tax.  Mobile homes on leased land are personal property.

Personal Property Advance Tax

Payment of taxes due but not yet billed.

Personal property taxes are due by the person owning the property as of January 1 of the assessment year. This is the year prior to billing. The tax is due even if the business closes or the property is sold or transferred. The lien follows the property so the property can be subject to distraint even if it is under new ownership. The treasurer may also require advance payment of personal property taxes if the property is sold or transferred.

Personal Property Late Filing Fee

A penalty charged against personal property accounts for failing to return property inventory listings as prescribed by law.

Real Property

Land and any improvements, such as buildings, structures or mobile homes attached to the land.

Second Half Payment

One half of taxes, $50 or greater, due on October 31st.

Situs Address

The physical location of the property.

Tax Code Area (TCA)

A 3 digit number representing a unique combination of all the taxing jurisdictions who include the property in their district.  Each property has a TCA assigned to it. There are about 80 TCAs in Thurston County.

An example:

TCA 110 means the parcel is located in (and pays taxes to) the following districts:

Olympia School District, City of Olympia, Port of Olympia, Medic One, Timberland Library, Thurston County, State of Washington, Public Utility District.

Tax Rate

The combination of taxes levied by all taxing districts that cover a particular property

The tax rate is expressed in dollars per thousand of assessed value. Personal property and real property are taxed at the same rate.

Voter Approved Tax

Any levy specifically approved by a majority of voters within a taxing district.