If you own property here (and/or elsewhere in King County), your 2021 bill is arriving this week (either sent to you directly or to your mortgage company). Valuation and bills are calculated by the office of King County Assessor John Wilson, who briefed reporters Wednesday on this year’s key points. First thing to remember – as explained here last fall – your tax bill is based on the property value set on January 1st of the previous year. So what you’re paying this year is what your property was worth at the start of last year. As noted in that report last fall, West Seattle values dropped about 1 percent, but that was based on a pre-bridge assessment.
We asked Wilson at the Wednesday briefing whether the West Seattle Bridge closure has been affecting property values at all since then, and he told us that so far, their continual monitoring of sales data shows “no significant impact” on residential property, though commercial property has been affected by a drop in rental rates. Citywide, the median assessed value is $674,000, and that’s down a little more than two percent from a year earlier. Tax bills continue to rise, though, with major factors including school funding (which we note comprises half of the tax bill for our house) and various voter-approved levies (our bill says that totals almost a third of what we owe). This year, they’re not delaying the due date – first half of the bill is due by April 30th, second half by October 31st. As a notice in the bill reminds you, there’s a tax-relief program for homeowners who are at least 61 years old with annual incomes of $58,423 or less. For others, there is also a payment-plan option. If you have questions about your taxes, go here.