Washington Law Review




The Snohomish County assessor revalued the real property in two school districts of the county. Once he had determined the true and fair value of each parcel and improvement, he computed the assessed value by utilization of a 25 percent assessment ratio. The property not included in the revaluation program was assessed at 20 percent of true and fair value. The Department of Revenue ordered the County Board of Equalization to reconvene for the purpose of equalizing assessments within the county. The order required the Board to apply uniformly a 20 percent assessment ratio or to propose a reasonable alternative, subject to the approval of the Department. Petitioners, Snohomish County and its assessor, sought a Writ of Prohibition to restrain permanently enforcement of the order, contending that the Department had no statutory or constitutional power to issue equalization orders. In an original proceeding the court granted the writ, but on grounds other than those argued by the petitioners. Held: The Department of Revenue does not possess legal authority to order use of a uniform assessment ratio of other than 50 percent of true and fair value. State ex rel. Barlow v. Kinnear, 70 Wash. Dec. 2d 460, 423 P.2d 937 (1967).

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