If you own property, your tax bill is on the way. Here’s what you need to know about it

The King County Assessor has announced that this year’s property-tax bills started going out today. Recent elections have added new taxes, as you are probably well aware, and so here’s what the Assessor’s Office wants you to be aware of – plus a few myths to debunk, and an exemption that some are eligible for:

King County Treasury began sending out the annual property-tax bills on February 14. King 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.

Voters have approved several property-tax increases that will make much-needed investments in child and youth development, public safety, and transportation, including more Sound Transit rail and bus service throughout much of King County. In some parts of King County, as much as 50 percent of the property tax bill is the result of voter-approved measures.

New levies approved in 2016 for collection this year include:

· Sound Transit 3 (ST3), which will connect the region’s cities with mass transit including 62 new miles of light rail; bus rapid transit on the north, east and south of Lake Washington; expanded passenger capacity on Sounder south line trains; and parking, bike and pedestrian access improvements at stations throughout the system.

· School levies in the Auburn, Federal Way, Tukwila, Seattle, Renton, Mercer Island, Kent, Vashon Island, Lake Washington, and Highline school districts.

· Renewal of the Low-Income Housing levy in Seattle.

· Public safety levies in Normandy Park, Snoqualmie, and Shoreline.

“Voters are saying yes to spending money on valuable government services, such as schools, fire protection, and transportation improvements. But we know that can be especially tough for those on fixed incomes,” said King County Assessor John Wilson. “That’s why we’ve been aggressively reaching out to seniors, veterans and disabled homeowners with the property tax exemption program.”

Low-income seniors, veterans and disabled homeowners may qualify for a property-tax exemption offered by the Assessor’s office. Information on how to apply for an exemption, along with other property-assessment-related information, can be found at kingcounty.gov/assessor. Nearly 5,000 King County homeowners applied for the exemption last year.

Property taxes vary depending upon property location, the assessed value of the property, and the number of jurisdictions levying taxes (such as state, city, county, school district, port, fire district, etc). In recent years, our 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.

With property taxes going up 8 percent on average, that means countywide property tax billings will be $4.8 billion in 2017, up from $4.5 billion last year. Aggregate property values in King County increased by nearly 11 percent, going from $426.3 billion in 2016 to $471.5 billion in 2017.

The majority of property tax revenue – 52 percent – pays for schools. It also pays for police, fire protection, parks, and libraries. The county receives less than 18 percent of the property tax revenue it collects. While many people naturally assume that the county’s revenue increases as property values rise, that’s actually not the case. A state law limits the amount of additional revenue counties receive from an existing property tax to no more than 1 percent each year. One exception is revenue generated from new construction. As a result, the revenue that supports the county’s General Fund does not keep up with inflation and the increasing demand for services as our population grows.

Property owners can find tax levy rates and more property related information by visiting eReal Property Search on the King County Assessor’s website or by calling 206-296-7300.

To avoid interest and penalties, the first half property taxes must be paid or postmarked by May 1, 2017. The second half property taxes must be paid or postmarked by Oct. 31, 2017.

64 Replies to "If you own property, your tax bill is on the way. Here's what you need to know about it"

  • plf February 14, 2017 (11:28 am)

    sticker shock will hit folks very hard…for many the taxes are making it impossible to stay in our homes

    We talk about homelessness and this kind of excessive rape of home owners will only make it worst

    I am about to retire and thanks to the crazy city and county council I won’t be able to stay in my home of 20 years 

    • WSB February 14, 2017 (11:46 am)

      Maybe you’ll be eligible for the exemption mentioned above then?

      Anyway, for anyone afraid to look … we just checked ours, a small old house that the county says is worth $380,000. Our tax bill last year was $3,155; for this year, it’s gone up to $3,704, so that’s a little over $45 more per month. It is a much-bigger change than the previous year-to-year, though – last year’s $3,155 bill (according to the county website, which has info for the previous two years below your current bill) was up from $3,113.

      When you go to that page on the county website, also check the tab that shows the sources to which your $ goes.

      • CH February 14, 2017 (7:53 pm)

        Are you sure the change from $3,155 to $3,704 wasn’t the difference from 2015 to 2016?  I don’t see the 2017 bill on the County website yet for any of the West Seattle properties I follow, but that is about the difference I see from 2015 to 2016… 

        • WSB February 14, 2017 (8:19 pm)

          The assessor’s website now says 2017 bills will be posted by *tomorrow*. The valuation I cited for our site, $380,000, is described as 2016 value for 2017 tax year, but now I’m not so sure the billed amount corresponds, yet. So I’ll check again tomorrow. Sorry, thought I could at least cite a real world example without violating anybody’s privacy, will check again tomorrow!

  • Steve February 14, 2017 (11:46 am)

    But you have a pronto bike to ride into retirement!

    • WSB February 14, 2017 (11:47 am)

      You must have missed the decision to kill bike-sharing.

      • Steve February 14, 2017 (3:46 pm)

        I know that but I am hoping they give them to the hard working property tax payer as a thank you for the city failed projects.  

  • plf February 14, 2017 (11:52 am)

     Steve that is a great example of dollars that were not allocated correctly…I am so nervous about the mail coming…or should I say scared.  To work as hard as I have in human services and to know that I won’t be able to stay in my home or in my city is terribly sad and I am not alone

    shame on the Mayor as well 

    • Steve February 14, 2017 (4:06 pm)

      And it is only get worse.   Look at the candidates running for burgesses spot on the council.  Thank the lord for those “democracy” vouchers!

  • Josh February 14, 2017 (12:02 pm)

    Add that to sticker shock on car tabs- almost tripled. My car is 15yrs old. Our small house in Westwood- taxes going up fast. Not poor enough for discounts and not wealthy enough to move. Ugh.

  • threetrees February 14, 2017 (12:22 pm)

    I’m one of the people who will not be able to stay in my home because of the skyrocketing property taxes. I am not in the categories that can get help, and as a freelancer in a very undervalued field, I actually make less than miminum wage as I watch more and more of my clients go under or send their work to India. I don’t think I’ll be able to last long enough to hit the senior age here and get help, and my disability, while getting worse, isn’t enough and is “invisible.” So. I voted for a lot of those things that raise taxes, knowing it means I’m probably going to have to sell in the next couple years. And the worst part is, I won’t even live long enough to make use of any of the transportation bill, so I voted essentially to help price myself out of my home of more than 20 years so others could have more sensible transportation. I have really come to hate this city. If you’re not young and working in tech you’re getting shoved out, and yet we have no decent transportation so we can’t move out of the area and expect to get anywhere except by driving.

  • Jason February 14, 2017 (12:37 pm)

    My property tax increased $1230 from 2015 to 2016 and my property isn’t large or magnificent in any way. I see the new assessment for 2017 and it is terrifying. I didn’t vote for ST3 either. These increases have me evaluating the value of living in Seattle because at this point I’m not sure it is worth it. 

    • CH February 14, 2017 (10:12 pm)

      Jason…  that sounds like a lot, unless you have a million dollar house.  You may want to check to be sure none of the attributes for your property has changed.  In 2012, the condition of my house was changed from “average” to “good” based on the county’s every 6 year reevaluation. Unfortunately, I didn’t catch it until 2015.  I hadn’t made any big improvements, and my house clearly fit their definition for average, so I appealed.  As a result, the condition was changed back to average, and my assessed value was adjusted down by $87,000.  That saved me roughly $900 in 2016, and of course I’ll continue to save every year going forward.    

  • Mark Schletty February 14, 2017 (12:39 pm)

    Taxing seniors out of their homes is one of the ways the city is using to open up property for developers to build more over priced housing. Just like HALA, it will result in a net loss of affordable housing, but will make developers rich. As a lifelong Democrat i am ashamed of what our Democratic politicians here are doing to lower income citizens.

    • Seattlite February 14, 2017 (3:03 pm)

      MarkSchletty…I agree with your comment.  I voted no on all new taxes because I have zero confidence in the recent and past democrat leadership of KingCounty/Seattle to use tax dollars in a results oriented way.  I’m selling my home.  I could stay in it but it’s getting to be too much work and Seattle is not as welcoming to seniors as it use to be in my humble opinion.

      • Robert February 15, 2017 (9:25 am)

        It’s not just seniors either. My wife and I are in our early 40s, and we’ve had just about enough of dealing with living in Seattle. At some point, it’s going to turn into a “this isn’t my problem and I’m tired of paying for it” attitude and we’ll quickly move out of state. 

      • JSL239 February 18, 2017 (5:45 pm)

        Seattlite – AMEN!

        SEATTLE RAPES home owners in a very inappropriate manner.

  • mosmom February 14, 2017 (1:11 pm)

    But aren’t these new taxes from what people voted in and are the above comments from people who didn’t vote these new taxes in?

    • Robert February 14, 2017 (1:50 pm)

      Sure they are all things that people voted for. But voting for things that we need, or don’t NEED but sound good, and paying for them with property taxes still creates a huge sticker shock bc you don’t see all of those increases added up until after they’ve gone into effect. It’s like shopping with a credit card and not realizing what you’ve done until you see the bill. Or voting for a big condo building but not realizing its effect or size until you’ve seen it built. 

    • ChannelingLewisBlack February 14, 2017 (8:34 pm)

      And you open up the whole debate about whether non-owning voters really pay the full effect of the assessments they vote yes on.  Some who rent from smaller landlords probably see 1:1 correlation, but those in these larger developments may not as there are exceptions, subsidies and subterfuge. Lawmakers need to move away from real estate levies.

      • Rebecca February 15, 2017 (8:58 am)

        Agreed. It makes me so angry that non home owners vote to raise MY property taxes. 

        • Laura February 15, 2017 (9:35 am)

          Non home owners have every right to vote on these issues because it directly impacts our rent.  My last increase was $200/month due to these types of issues.  I wonder what this increase will now be? 

  • Mr. K February 14, 2017 (1:46 pm)

    The County, Mayor and Council are all easy targets. The problem is that there’s not enough  money to pay for everything that we need as a city, take education for example. The local governments are limited in their means for increasing revenue which usually results in a property tax or sales tax jump. These taxes hit working class and lower income families the hardest. If we want change in this its an income tax (gasp!) which only the State has power to do. Write your representatives add tell them you want an income tax so all those new “tech workers” can pay their fair share, fully fund education and take the some of the burden off property owners etc. You can hate on the local governments all you want but its actually the State you should be annoyed with. 

  • skeeter February 14, 2017 (1:59 pm)

    Yes, our property taxes are high.  But we have no state income tax.  If my family (2 wage earners) had to pay a 5% state income tax that would be far, far more than what we pay in property tax.  I’m not saying it is fair or unfair.  But that’s how it is.   

  • beef February 14, 2017 (2:28 pm)

    Assessed value not levy rate is what gets you. Here is the levy rate since 2010 taken from my assessment page in West Seattle (98106). if you have issue with an assessment ,  get together documentation as why you think it is not correct and submit it to the independent review board.

    2017 Total Levy Rate: 
    $9.24803
         
    Total Senior Rate: 
    $6.89507

    2016 Total Levy Rate: 
    $9.48564
         
    Total Senior Rate: 
    $7.07928

    2015 Total Levy Rate: 
    $9.27433
         
    Total Senior Rate: 
    $6.72287

    2014 Total Levy Rate: 
    $10.29168
         
    Total Senior Rate: 
    $7.54445

    2013 Total Levy Rate: 
    $10.50991
         
    Total Senior Rate: 
    $7.85685

    2012 Total Levy Rate: 
    $10.16567
         
    Total Senior Rate: 
    $7.54654

    2011 Total Levy Rate: 
    $9.65803
         
    Total Senior Rate: 
    $7.09580

    2010 Total Levy Rate:  $9.04180
         
    Total Senior Rate: 
    $6.8472

    Yes, I would agree, an income tax is really the only way to solve this. I would think seniors/fixed income people would be all for this but what do I know. People just don’t want to pay for anything yet expect everything.


  • My two cents ... February 14, 2017 (2:56 pm)

     From a pragmatic perspective, sales taxes and property taxes are where the vast majority of revenue dollars go towards funding government services.  Increases to these do have an impact on those segments of the population where income is not growing as quickly as  other segments  of the community. While not advocating this necessarily,  an income tax could potentially alleviate some of these increases that we are seeing within the traditional tax bases that we have.  

  • JRR February 14, 2017 (3:11 pm)

    Time for a state income tax. This regressive business has got to go. 

  • Chris Stripinis February 14, 2017 (3:45 pm)

    If anyone is interested in an income tax to shift the funding burden from sales and property taxes, the Transit Riders Union is sponsoring a progressive income tax in Seattle (i.e.  2.5% on incomes over $200,000, etc.). You can find more information on the effort at https://transitriders.org/

  • Les February 14, 2017 (4:02 pm)

    We don’t need a  state income tax .We need a 15% foreign buyer tax  similar to what Vancouver Canada did last year..

  • skeeter February 14, 2017 (4:52 pm)

    Guys I am NOT a lawyer, but my understanding is our state constitution prohibits a graduated income tax.  So it is fine to discuss an income tax, but actually getting an income tax will require a change to the state constitution.  And that would be difficult to do.

     http://www.atg.wa.gov/ago-opinions/constitutionality-income-tax

     

     

    • Chris Stripinis February 15, 2017 (10:17 am)

      Skeeter –  That is true that the state currently forbids municipalities from creating income taxes.  As I understand it, the proposal by the Transit Riders Union seeks to create a Seattle-only income tax, with the knowledge that it will immediately by challenged in court by the Koch brothers and their ilk.  They are hoping that it will work its way up to the Washington State Supreme Court, which has a current membership they think will overturn it, thus opening up the possibility of income taxes for other municipalities or even statewide.

      See here for more details: https://transitriders.org/take-action/current-campaign/

  • Mark February 14, 2017 (5:43 pm)

    It is time to require landlords t itemize the monthly rent detailing the portion going to property tax.  I believe many renters do not understand that 15 to 20% of their rent is due to property taxes.  This would better inform voters!

    • AMD February 14, 2017 (8:31 pm)

      I went from renting to owning a couple years ago.  My monthly payments for a house the same size, in the same neighborhood are still far less as an owner (even after the tax increases) than I was paying to rent.  Yes, taxes factor into the cost of rent, but they alone are NOT what is driving $200/month+ increases year over year to rental properties.  That’s supply and demand.  And landlords are scapegoating taxes rather than admitting that they are giving you 3-figure increases to your monthly rent because they can, not just because they have to.

      I agree with all other posters that it’s time to look at an income tax.  The current model of taxing cars and houses disproportionately affects those with low or fixed incomes.  As long as people keep voting against income taxes (and by default, voting FOR the regressive tax structure) we’re going to keep having conversations about choosing between funding schools or keeping homes folks have lived in for decades.  

    • newnative February 15, 2017 (2:23 pm)

      Yes, my boyfriend owns here and rents in Texas and has discovered that property taxes are much higher there.  So ahead and itemize all you want and see what happens.  

  • TheKing February 14, 2017 (7:25 pm)

    Where is all of those people who were saying “it’s only an extra $—- a month”? We will be investing in 100 year old technology while the rest of the world is hopping on maglev trains. Indefinite taxes are never a good thing, light rail knows the money will be there no matter what. 

  • Eric1 February 14, 2017 (8:44 pm)

    Property taxes are not a big deal in the scheme of things.  I pay about 5% of my income in property and car tab taxes.  That isn’t even close to what the income tax is in most states.  So while more of your paycheck in this state seems to go to property taxes, in most other states, you start with a much smaller paycheck.  Plus you don’t have to waste time filing state taxes (it also saves you about $20 on software if you do your own taxes).  Sales taxes are high but necessities like food and drugs are not taxed.  So if  you spend carefully, you minimize your tax burden (don’t eat out, don’t buy Iphone 7’s). 

    .

    Property taxes are also ultimately fair.  Bill Gates pays more than $1M per year in property taxes.  I’ll never pay that in my lifetime.  I buy used cars, I don’t know what Bill drives but he has a garage the size of my house and his fleet probably requires more in sales taxes and tab fees in one year than I will ever pay in my lifetime either. The point is, if I my income could support it, I’d live on a lakefront, drive expensive cars and eat at nice restaurants all the time.  If I were poor, I’d I drove a POS car, rent a room and eat Top Ramen (been there, done that).  It is when you try to live beyond your means that property taxes catch up with you.  

    .

    Trying to live in an expensive city can also be beyond people’s means.  I left a very expensive city to move here 20+ years ago because I didn’t want to live in my parent’s basement.  Seattle was cheap with great opportunities for most people back then.  But there is no “right” to live in any city even if you were born there.  My kids probably won’t be able to afford to live here but that is why you educate them and show them that in most cases, other cities are okay to live in because there is no room in my basement for 25 year old kids.

    • K February 15, 2017 (9:08 am)

      110% agree.

    • Heather February 15, 2017 (11:12 am)

      I also agree. Plus kudos to WSB for such informational reporting on this topic – it makes the comment section so much more interesting and informative.

      • WSB February 15, 2017 (11:33 am)

        Just to be sure credit goes where it’s due … the blue-blocked text is directly from the Assessor’s Office. Anything blue-blocked here is a direct quote. I notice that on our pure-mobile format the blue-block doesn’t show, just italic and indented. (I try to make sure the introductory text makes the source clear …)

        Anyway, we get many news releases each day – announcements, some article-style, from government agencies, companies, etc. – and we don’t publish them all, but we do consider them all, and this one was clearly full of relevant information, so up it went!

        By the way, re: our comment yesterday on our property-tax bill – our 2017 bill is now online and the jump from 2016 to 2017 wasn’t nearly as big as the jump from 2015 to 2016. (Recap … small old house, assessed value $380,000.) While it went from $3,155 to $3,704 from 2015 to 2016, this year’s bill is now posted, and it’s gone up about $12 a month … the 2017 bill is $3,845.

    • newnative February 15, 2017 (11:30 am)

      This is one of the most articulate and well-rounded comments about property taxes in Seattle.  As someone who makes very little, I appreciate the privilege of living here and do my best to afford it.  A lot of my colleagues complain about not being able to afford living in the city but I’m sure that their car expenses cost more than any difference in rent/mortgage.  

  • New Thinking Needed February 14, 2017 (8:56 pm)

    Keep in mind one proposal from Olympia for the school funding issue is have a flat 1.8% property tax, statewide.  This could result in increased property tax in Seattle of $600 to $700 for the average house….the Governor has claims to be against the statewide property tax idea and I hope it is ‘killed’.  ….my measly pay raise can’t keep up.  

  • New Thinking Needed February 14, 2017 (9:22 pm)

    Sorry – mis-wrote the above, should read  property-tax rate of
    $1.80 per $1,000 of assessed value across the state to fund schools.

  • Nancy R February 14, 2017 (10:31 pm)

    Thanks WSB for pointing out that the new tax revenues being collected are voter approved and go  to child development, public safety, parks, and transportation, including the Sound Transit expansion.   And that low income seniors, veterans, and disabled homeowners can apply for exemptions.    Our taxes pay for what makes cities a good place to live.

  • Eman February 15, 2017 (8:33 am)

    For some of us this is “Taxation without Representation” no one in Seattle city government or state government will ever represent my families interests. Our vote never counts! Therefore, we will be “voting with our feet”.  This city is turning into a garbage dump very quickly…very sad.

    Bye Bye Seattle,

    Eman

    • CitySmack February 15, 2017 (9:01 pm)

      I’m buying a home in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho – larger with a great view of Lake CdA and Fernan Lake up a mountainside on a paved road, sewer line.

      I’m seceding from WA State. Sell my 2 homes in Seattle at **unaffordable** prices!

      Prop tax on the CdA home is $2505 *less* per year than Seattle. (35% less tax for a larger home – Seattle, 2250 sq ft // Idaho, 4277 sq ft.; 600 sq ft shop, 2 bay garage)

  • WS Resident February 15, 2017 (11:55 am)

    2 BD / 1 BA home in Genesee Hill Area.

    2015 $3,961.48

    2016  $4,538.41

    2017  $4736.17

    So a modest $16.50 per month increase this year is a breeze compared to the hit I took last year.  For those of you curious about your neighborhood this is all public information.   Google “King County Parcel Viewer” and you can search by address.   

  • Eman February 15, 2017 (12:48 pm)

    WS Resident, Thanks for the info!  We’re up almost 600.00 this year.  Yikes!

    R/

    Eman

  • Alan February 15, 2017 (1:02 pm)

    Here is a link to the parcel viewer. Search or zoom to your property. Click on it. Choose “Property Report”.  Click on the “Property Tax Bill” link up near the top of the page. That transfers you to Treasury Services along with the account number. Click on the Real Property Tax search button, which should have the account number already in the field.

    http://www.kingcounty.gov/services/gis/Maps/parcel-viewer.aspx

  • Seaweedtoasted February 15, 2017 (3:56 pm)

    I’m having a mini heart attack. I bought my little 1924 home 20 years ago and the property happens to be Midrise. Somehow, I’ve been able to handle the high property tax payments over the years. I actually felt good to be putting more than my fair share towards schools. Work has gotten slower, though, as a freelance film and video producer. I was late on my 2nd payment last year and ended up paying $200 in fees!  I must have been in shock still because barely recall getting the new assessed value notice. I was reminded today when I received my property taxe notice of $5,344.12!  My (4,500 sq ft lot) land value went from 303,000 in 2014 to 338,000 in 2015 (can’t find my 2016, maybe $442,000?) to $542,000 in 2017! I don’t fit into any of the categories to get a discount. I don’t want to sell out to developers. If anything, I dream of sustainably developing this property to support my extended family.  I know there are worse problems to have, but this feels unjust.  And yes, I voted for transit and schools and thought I could absorb the increases, but didn’t know that the property itself would skyrocket. I’m going to look into the transit riders and welcome any guidance/ connection from local peeps who can empathize with my situation. Thanks. 

    • TheKing February 15, 2017 (5:45 pm)

      Honestly what is there to say. You voted yes to taxes that you didn’t completely understand what the outcome might be. Tough lesson. I voted no and was having a panic attack as I watched it pass figuring this would happen. 

      • KRS February 17, 2017 (9:03 am)

        I didn’t realize the assessed value of this little lot was going to jump 100,000 a year.  I’m going to make an appeal for next year. And take some action with the movement for a state income tax. 

  • CitySmack February 15, 2017 (8:47 pm)

    My property taxes went up 7.7% from 2016 to 2017 — must be what they mean by “affordable Seattle” …

    Why don’t we have City/County “rent control” ??

    [prop taxes are government rent – we never really own our single-family homes]

  • tuesdayjane February 15, 2017 (9:34 pm)

    Ah yes, so easy to check yes when politicians are making promises to save the world. So hard to write the check when the tax bill comes.  Everyone always thinks someone else is going to pay for whatever “it” is. But the reality is that someone else doesn’t have enough money to pay for all of “it”. Remember that next time someone comes up with a really great idea that will only cost such and such per $1,000 of assessed value. Because the tax assessor decides how much your property is worth and how much it increases from year to year. Not you. It’s a fun little annual present from people that only pretend to care about you when they want your money/ vote. Also, can we stop subsidizing the port already? If that thing isn’t sustainable on its own, shut it down.

    • bolo February 16, 2017 (10:32 am)

      Shut down the Port of Seattle (POS)? Did you forget that the Port is a Job Creator?

      • TuesdayJane February 16, 2017 (11:44 am)

        Why does it need tax money to survive? I’m guessing it doesn’t. It’s a ridiculously run business if the taxpayers need to subsidize it. Let someone manage it that can without taxpayers footing the bill. It’s international shipping for crying out loud. It’s not a social service. 

        • bolo February 16, 2017 (1:18 pm)

          Why does it need tax money to survive? My first guess is that it has to compete with other area ports that are subsidized. I’m not an expert, however, just guessing. I sure don’t like the port corruption issues that we see from time to time.

  • TuesdayJane February 16, 2017 (6:18 pm)

    Thank you for posting the article.

    “This is a growth-oriented budget so we can spur the regional economy, expand opportunities for small and disadvantaged businesses, increase family-wage jobs, help people acquire skills to move up the career ladder, and protect our environment.”

    All the right buzzwords! I still think it’s ridiculous. The port should be operated like a for profit business. And if it can’t pay its own way, so be it. Sounds like they know they have been taking too much money. A surplus… of course. So tired of these games. Dear Seattle, just because someone decides they want a levy on the ballot doesn’t mean you should vote yes. Let’s try no for a while and see what happens! It could be fun!

  • JanS February 16, 2017 (7:06 pm)

    well, here I sit reading all of this, a renter. And…yes, it affects us renters, too. If my rent goes up again (because the landlord passes the property taxes on to the tenants), I will become homeless, no doubt. At 70….ahhh, well…I suppose I could have held onto my home. Sold it way back in ’97 right before the bubble for a pittance. On Genesee Hill. 54th SW. Worth between 600-700 K ,now…would have been taxed out years ago. Yes….prices  have gone up. If I had only known, I could have waited and sold now, made a killing.

  • wsn00b February 17, 2017 (10:36 am)

    King county assessment values are also highly optimistic/inflated. There is a house in our neighborhood that is literally falling apart (and I do mean literally) – holes in the roof, siding falling off. It will most likely be a teardown if sold. The assessed value is about 600K and condition is “Good”. LOL.  Nobody in their right mind would value that house and the tiny non-splittable parcel of land over 350K. That neighbor is being screwed by the assessment and taxes. 

    • Alan February 17, 2017 (11:34 am)

      If you (or your neighbor) feel the value is optimistic, you can challenge the amount. My observation has been that the assessed values are well below the actual value of the property.  I always assumed that was done to keep people from challenging the assessment. I had to talk a neighbor out of complaining because he felt the amount on his home was too low! My own house if assessed about 25% below what Zillow indicates. Zillow is not perfect, but it more accurately reflects, for my house, what prices in the neighborhood have been. Go look for what you can find for 350K. There isn’t much.

  • Katrina February 18, 2017 (3:56 pm)

    For the person(s) (Eric1 and others)  saying using property tax is fair, you are forgetting the impact of sales tax, which is also used as a funding  crutch in our area. This is the most regressive kind of tax. The poorer you are, the greater % of your income is spent, since there isn’t any left for saving. While wealthy folks can put $ away, spending a lower percentage of their income, a low income person might spend almost 100% (or more than 100% for those who accumulate credit card debt), so, as a % of their income,  the sales tax will hit them much harder than it would a higher income individual. A progressive income tax would be much more equitable. And to the person (Skeeter)  who said their family’s property tax isn’t as much as an income tax would be, you should add in other taxes (sales tax, gas taxes) that are much higher than they would need to be if we had an income tax 

  • anonyme February 18, 2017 (4:57 pm)

    I bought my home through Homestead Community Land Trust.  The valuation is so low that I would have to sell at a loss, as the CLT determines the resale value.   As a senior now on a fixed income, this seems an extremely hypocritical approach to “keeping housing affordable”, especially given the thousands of dollars and thousands of hours of empty sweat equity put into the property.  This city is nuts.

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