MLT property tax increase approved

  • Tue Dec 6th, 2011 7:30pm

By Katie Murdoch Herald writer

MOUNTLAKE TERRACE — Homeowners will see a net decrease of $8 per year in their property taxes next year, which includes a $14 decrease in the emergency medical services and a $6 increase in the operating levies.

The City Council last month approved a 1 percent increase in property taxes, both for general operations and EMS.

The increase to the city’s general property tax will bring in an additional $31,281 and the increase to the city’s EMS levy of $10,170 will not be collected in 2012 but instead be deferred and added to the city’s banked capacity to be collected when the assessed value increases in the future.

“(Raising property taxes by 1 percent) is the most appealing to me after looking at the stats,” Mayor Jerry Smith said.

Residents pay $9.87 per $1,000 assessed value with $2.04, or 21 percent, of that funneling back into city coffers. Nearly half, $4.15 or 42 percent, goes toward the Edmonds School District.

The average homeowner will pay $104 in 2012, compared with $118 in 2011 for the EMS property tax levy, a $14 decrease. As for the general operations levy, the average homeowner will pay $370 in 2012 compared with $364 in 2011, a $6 increase.

The maximum EMS levy rate is fixed at $0.50 per $1,000 of assessed value, and since the assessed values decreased almost 12 percent from 2011 to 2012, the average homeowner will see a decrease of approximately $14 in their EMS levy property taxes, said Finance Director Sonja Springer.

Property values in the city are expected to decrease by 11.8 percent in 2012, with average assessed value expected to dip from $236,700 to $208,000.

Property taxes make up a big piece of the city’s revenue pie, at 24 percent, Springer said. More than $36.5 million is expected to be collected during 2011 and 2012.

New construction and future annexations would help raise even more tax revenue, a compounding effect that appealed to some council members.

“I don’t like increasing at all but … I’m looking at the most bang for their buck citizens will get,” Mayor Pro Tem Laura Sonmore said.