County to Send Property Tax Bills in Mid-February
Posted on 02/08/2018

(The pie graph shows where King County property tax dollars go. Courtesy of King County)

Later this month, residents will begin receiving property tax bills from King County. When property owners pay their bills, they are paying tax to the state, the county, cities and taxing districts like school and fire districts. On average, bills will increase by about 17 percent, due in large part to increasing investment in public education connected to the Washington state Supreme Court's McCleary decision.

Previously, the Washington state Supreme Court ruled that the legislature must make new investments into public education. As a result, the legislature added $1.01 per thousand dollars of assessed value to their portion of property tax collection in order to fund the mandate (this is known as the McCleary Plan).

Your total levy rate differs depending on the assessed value of your property and on where you live in Newcastle. For example, those who live in the Renton School District have a higher rate due to voter-approved initiatives. In recent years, schools have become more dependent on local levy dollars, and numerous special levies have been passed to fund services that were once funded out of state general tax revenue. On average, about 57 percent of property taxes go to fund public schools.

The City of Newcastle, which does not have utility taxes, relies primarily on property tax revenue to fund critical services such as public safety. In November, the Newcastle City Council approved a 2018 property tax levy that is 1.88 percent higher compared to 2017, resulting in an additional $88,722 in revenue. However, when overall assessed valuation goes up, the city's levy rate goes down, so even with that increase, the city's levy rate of 1.61766 is down from 2017's rate of 1.75523. Increased revenue will fund an additional Newcastle police officer to make the community safer.

In 2018, an average Newcastle home (valued at $717,000) situated in the area with the highest total levy rate will pay approximately $8,683 in property taxes. Of that, about $1,160, or approximately $97 a month, goes to the City of Newcastle. To determine your 2018 property taxes, you take your home's assessed value, multiply it by your total levy rate and divide that by 1,000. Enter your address on the King County Assessor's website at blue.kingcounty.com/Assessor/eRealProperty/default.aspx to find your assessed value and total levy rate.

Low-income seniors, veterans and disabled homeowners may qualify for a property-tax exemption offered by King County. Information on how to apply for an exemption, along with other property-assessment-related information, can be found at kingcounty.gov/assessor.

To avoid interest and penalties, the first half property taxes must be paid or postmarked by April 30, 2018. The second half property taxes must be paid or postmarked by Oct. 31, 2018.

Resources
King County Assessor's Website
2018 Property Tax Information
Pay Your Property Taxes Online
Your State School Property Tax is Changing (From the Department of Revenue)

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