Benton County Assessor's Office Glossary of Terms

This Glossary of Terms is intended to help you better understand some of the terminology used in describing property assessment reports.

If you don't find the term you're looking for, please feel free to use our contact form.

List of Terms

RMV [Real Market Value]

Real market value is typically the price your property would sell for in a transaction between a willing buyer and a willing seller on January 1, the assessment date for the tax year.

To estimate the initial RMV for your property, the assessor appraises your property using a physical inspection and a comparison of market data from similar properties. For ensuing tax years, your county assessor may study trends of similar properties to update the RMV for your property. Some property, such as farm or forest property, may be subject to special valuation processes.

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AV(R) [Assessed Value]

Each individual property is taxed on its assessed value. A property's assessed value is the lower of its real market value or its maximum assessed value.

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SAV [Special Assessed Value]

Many rural properties are eligible for a special assessment or deferral of some or all of their property if it is "used for a qualifying farm use" or if it is "used for the predominant purpose of growing and harvesting trees of a marketable species."

The purpose of these programs is to provide a financial incentive to property owners, in the form of reduced property values (special assessed value); for keeping their land in agricultural and/or timber production. The process for valuing the property follows a method prescribed by law and the tax is calculated on a special value instead of RMV.

These programs have a potential tax payback if the requirements discontinue to be met.

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Local Option

The legal term (since measure 50) for what we used to call "operating levies." It is a voter-approved tax for maintaining a program or service.

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ESD [Education Service District]

An ESD provides services to your local school district.

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PROP / Prop Class [Property Class]

Property Class categorizes property by use, zone, or assessment program.

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TCA / Prop TCA [Tax Code Area]

This determines the districts, which receive taxes from a property. Those districts are identified on the right side of the tax statement.

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MAV [Maximum Assessed Value]

A property's maximum assessed value is the taxable value limit established for each property. The first MAV for each property was set in the 1997-98 tax year. For that year; the MAV was the property's 1995-96 real market value minus 10 percent.

For example, if a residential property had a real market value of $100,000 for the 1995-96 tax year; its 1997-98 MAV would have been $90,000. MAV can increase for only two reasons; a three (3) percent annual increase, or specific property events.

The MAV can increase by more than 3 percent for any of the following property events:

  • Changes in the property value as the result of new property or new improvements to property
  • The property is partitioned or subdivided
  • The property is rezoned and used consistently with rezoning
  • The property is first taken into account as omitted property
  • The property becomes disqualified from exemption

New construction affects MAV if it increases the value of the property by more than $10,000 in any one year or $25,000 within any consecutive five years.

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