Wednesday, August 5, 2015

King County Property Tax

A neighbor writes, "Help! My King County property tax bill just went up 38%! Isn't there some cap to the amount that it can be valued each year?"

Leschi neighbor Patrick Callahan responds:
Your research motivated me to call the Assessor Office. Very helpful lady there alerted me that I could learn a lot by going to their webpage and entering my Account Number. 

She indicated that the 1% cap was not as clear cut as one might hope. The whole basis for the tax is based on the LEVY RATE for the area where you live. For us in this area of Seattle it is currently 9.27% of assessed value. This rate has varied in recent years and this appears to be what triggers the change in your actual tax bill: 

Levy Rate 

2010 = 9.041% 
2011 = 9.658 
2012 = 10.165 
2013 = 10.509 
2014 = 10.291
2015 = 9.274 

I multiplied my 2015 valuation x 9.74% and it came out very close to my tax now I'm confused about how the 1% cap rate actually works to reduce the impact of higher valuations. 

Who gets the $$$$$ ? 

28 % = City of Seattle 
25 % = Seattle Schools System 
24% = State of Washington 
14% = King County 
other entities 

$350 = Annual Surface water management...this appears to be a flat rate per home 

Feel free to send any other real estate-related questions to me by leaving a comment to the blog here.

Happy Investing!

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