Tax Bills are Good News, Bad News

  • Written by Valley View Staff
Property taxes went up in about half of King County this year, although some areas are seeing minor decreases.
Generally, in the Snoqualmie Valley, it’s a mix of assessments, with Duvall going down an average of 0.46%, and Carnation going up 1.71% depending on location, according to Al Dams, Chief Deputy Assessor. Unincorporated areas are seeing nearly a 2.6% increase. All areas have increased median values with the highest jumps in assessed value hitting the unincorporated areas where the median value last year was $439,000 and now is $492,000.
Property taxes vary depending upon location, the assessed value of the property, and the number of jurisdictions levying taxes such as state, city, county, school district, port, fire district, and the like. 
“Property tax policy remains in a state of flux,” said King County Assessor John Wilson.  “It’s important to remember changes in the law, or approval of special levies, have much more impact on changes to your tax bill than does the changing value of your property.”
Last year’s average increase of 17 percent was called the highest hike in property taxes in King County’s history by one county spokesman, due to the statewide property tax implemented to increase funding for schools under the McCleary decision.
King County Treasury sent out the annual property tax bills last month. The County collects property taxes on behalf of the state, the county, cities, and taxing districts (such as school and fire districts) and distributes the revenue to these local governments.
About 5 percent of property tax revenues collected in King County in 2019 pays for schools. Property taxes also fund voter-approved measures for veterans and seniors, fire protection, and parks. King County receives about 18 percent of property tax payment for roads, police, criminal justice, public health, elections, and parks, among other services.

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