King County Property Tax Increase

The word is out; King County property taxes are going up by double-digit percentages. County Assessor John Wilson says across King County the average tax bill going out this month will be 17% greater than last year’s property tax. This increase is the result of a new school-funding plan that is part of the recently passed budget.

The plan is a response to the state Supreme Court’s landmark McCleary decision, in which the Court ruled that Washington was not adequately funding basic K-12 education. Using increased property taxes to pay for education is part of the budget that was signed by the governor last year.

Wilson admits it’s the greatest increase in some time, and some areas of the county will see larger increases than others. 16.9 percent will be the jack-up amount for Seattle property taxes. It equates to a tax bill that is $825 higher than last year for a median-valued home ($597,000).

The increase in property tax for Bellevue will be 21.6 percent. For the owner of a median-valued home ($791,000) the dollar increase over last year’s tax burden will be $1300. In Federal Way the increase will be 11.5 percent — $434 more for the owner of a median-valued home ($301,000) than the tax figure last year.

Tax increases in Pierce and Snohomish counties won’t be as steep. In Pierce County the owner of an average single-family home valued at $321,000 can expect to pay about $330 more per year. Snohomish County estimates the owner of a $400,000 single family home will pay approximately $330 more in property tax this year over last year. In Marysville the tax jump will be about $400.

Wilson says the Legislature’s education funding plan is putting the heaviest burden on King County homeowners. Last year when the plan was signed into the budget, some lawmakers predicted property taxes would fall in some parts of South King County; Wilson says that is just not true.

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