There are a number of events that trigger removal from Designated Forest or Open Space classification, including an owner's request, sale or transfer of the property, or assessor's determination that the land no longer qualifies for classification.
OWNER'S REQUEST for REMOVAL
There are times when a property owner may wish to remove all or a portion of a property from classification. A property owner may want to clear land for a home site, or no longer want to operate a farm, or decide to sell a portion of the land to a buyer who does not wish to continue classification. When land is removed from Designated Forest classification, there will be Compensating Tax assessed (RCW 84.33.145). When land in Open Space classification is removed, there will be an Additional Tax assessed, including interest and a 20% penalty (RCW 84.34.108).
These forms are used when a property owner wants to remove land from classification immediately:
If land has been classified in the Open Space program for at least ten (10) years, the property owner may submit an Owner's Request to Withdraw from classification. While the land is still subject to the Additional Tax including interest, the 20% penalty is waived (RCW 84.34.070).
If the Assessor's Office determines that the land is no longer being used for the purpose for which it was granted classification, we have the responsibility to remove the land from classification. The property owner will receive a Notice of Intent to Remove, and will be given the opportunity to respond before the removal is finalized. If and when the land is removed from classification, the property owner will then receive a Notice of Removal, including a statement of Compensating Tax or Additional Tax due.