Python Batch Parcel Assessment Under Washington's Open Space Taxation Act and Kittitas County's Public Benefit Rating System

Authors: Dusty Pilkington*, Kittitas County
Topics: Geographic Information Science and Systems, Planning Geography, Natural Resources
Keywords: GIS, Open Space, Python, Washington, Kittitas County, Open Space Taxation Act, Public Benefit Rating System
Session Type: Poster
Day: 4/4/2019
Start / End Time: 9:55 AM / 11:35 AM
Room: Lincoln 2, Marriott, Exhibition Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


First enacted in 1970, the Washington Open Space Taxation Act allows reductions in parcel assessments to account for non- consumptive values derived from public amenities. Amenities include, but are not limited to streams, wetlands, public viewsheds, and Shorelines of the State. Kittitas County, Washington has adopted a Public Benefit Rating System (PBRS) to assesses parcels on a sliding scale, where each assessed value is reduced according to points awarded based upon the value of each public amenity and the area of the parcel covered by the amenity. The County's process includes provisions to avoid double counting. For example, a stream that is also classified as a Shoreline of the State cannot be awarded points as both a stream and a Shoreline. A Python script and ESRI Script Tool were developed to automatically score and assess the value of a list of parcels using if/elif/else logic. ArcGIS Spatial Analyst tools are applied to calculate area coverage. A list of parcel numbers, an ESRI Parcel Fabric layer, polygon feature classes describing public amenity coverage, and a point feature class of known historic sites serve as inputs for scoring. Outputs include a feature class of scored parcels with point totals for each amenity, and a series of maps depicting the series of parcels. Labor intensive paper and pencil review is no longer required to score parcels under the Act and the PBRS system.

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