KENNEWICK, Wash. -- Ken McMillan lives along South Fruitland Street and has been paying taxes on the land and house for more than ten years. This year he received his total value assessment increased 15% because his land value jumped 80%, a huge rise in one year.
Barbara Wagner, the Benton County Appraiser says there is a reason for such a huge rise. She says Benton County is separated into six areas, each of which gets a physical assessment each year. Therefore, one area would be assessed every six years. Many people don't see the rise or drop in land value for some six years which could be a good thing or bad thing. "Instead of appreciating the fact that I have a low value for a number of years, probably longer than I should have, I see this huge increase and we're just bringing it market value," says Wagner. In McMillan's case Wagner says, It was an 80% increase for the land value only…we only increased his total assessed value by 9% and by state law we are to be at 100% market value."