Seattle homeowners are hit with a property tax jump this year, largely caused by a state-wide tax hike on behalf of schools. The Legislature approved this tax increase last year to fund public education, and homeowners are just now feeling the effects.
The average King County homeowner will see a 17 percent property-tax increase this year. In nearby Snohomish County: a 16 percent jump. Kitsap County, 12 percent; Pierce County, 11.5 percent. The range is due to additional city- and county-level taxes placed atop the state-wide jump.
As a dollar amount, this will cost homeowners roughly $1,000. An average ($600,000) home in Seattle will require an additional $825 in taxes compared to last year. In Bellevue, the taxes on an average ($800,000) home will be $1,300 more than last year.
So what are these taxes funding? Mostly education. In 2012, in the Washington Supreme Court’s McCleary decision (2012), the Supreme Court ruled that Washington wasn’t giving enough funding to public education. Now, in 2018, they are correcting that lack of funding with a 0.1 percent tax on every $1,000 of assessed property valuation.
For those who can’t afford this tax increase, there are relief programs available to those who qualify, and the state legislature is currently discussing exemptions to the property tax increase.
How does this affect you?
Whether you’re a homeowner, renter, or business owner, we want to hear from you, and so does the Seattle Times. You can leave a comment on our Facebook page, or you can contact reporter Jim Brunner at email@example.com or 206-515-5628 to share your experience. You can include details such as where you live, how long you’ve lived there, and what you will pay because of the hike this year—and also: How does this affect your standard of living? Will you move because of the property tax? Is this an unfair tax? A fair tax? Does this feel like your civic duty? Would your opinion change if the tax was funding something else?