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An Examination of Vertical Equity Over Two Reassessment Cycles

This article examines vertical equity in the assessment of single-family homes over two assessment cycles in Bellingham, Washington. The two assessment periods, which are four years apart, followed two differing property appreciation periods. The 1992 reassessment followed an explosion in home values, while the 1996 reassessment came after more moderate price appreciation. The assessed value/ market value ratio is the basic tool of this study with actual sales prices assumed to be market value. Utilizing a database of 721 home sales from January, 1990 to December, 1992, this study’s empirical analysis suggests regressive vertical inequity in 1992. This situation appears to have changed in 1996. Results from a second database consisting of 835 home sales from January, 1994 through December, 1996, suggest a substantial reduction in vertical inequity. Overall, it appears that the County Assessor’s office addressed the previous problem with positive results for the average property taxpayer of Whatcom County.

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File URL: http://pages.jh.edu/jrer/papers/pdf/past/vol19n03/v19p255.pdf
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Article provided by American Real Estate Society in its journal Journal of Real Estate Research.

Volume (Year): 19 (2000)
Issue (Month): 3 ()
Pages: 255-273

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Handle: RePEc:jre:issued:v:19:n:3:2000:p:255-273
Contact details of provider: Postal: American Real Estate Society Clemson University School of Business & Behavioral Science Department of Finance 401 Sirrine Hall Clemson, SC 29634-1323
Web page: http://www.aresnet.org/
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Order Information: Postal: Diane Quarles American Real Estate Society Manager of Member Services Clemson University Box 341323 Clemson, SC 29634-1323
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  1. Benson, Earl D, et al, 1998. "Pricing Residential Amenities: The Value of a View," The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, Springer, vol. 16(1), pages 55-73, January.
  2. Mark A. Sunderman & John W. Birch & Roger E. Cannaday & Thomas W. Hamilton, 1990. "Testing for Vertical Inequity in Property Tax Systems," Journal of Real Estate Research, American Real Estate Society, vol. 5(3), pages 319-334.
  3. Earl D. Benson & Arthur L. Schwartz, Jr., 1997. "Vertical Equity in the Taxation of Single Family Homes," Journal of Real Estate Research, American Real Estate Society, vol. 14(3), pages 215-232.
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