EVERETT — As they finish crunching the numbers, Snohomish County authorities finally know how much more property tax local homeowners can expect to pay for state education.
It’s no small amount.
The owner of a $350,000 home is looking at a property-tax hike of nearly $300 this year.
That’s just for the state’s education levy. It doesn’t factor in local school district levies or other services supported by property tax, such as fire, EMS and city government.
“I’m trying to let people know that they’re going to see a sizable increase in their tax bills so that the state is providing appropriate funding to the schools according to the McCleary decision,” county Assessor Linda Hjelle said.
An explanation will accompany the annual property-tax statements due to hit the mail in mid-February. Half of the payment is due at the end of April, the other half at the end of October.
This past summer, lawmakers in Olympia passed the largest state property-tax increase in Washington history. It was part of an effort to satisfy a state Supreme Court order known as the McCleary decision. Issued in 2012, the order deemed Washington’s system for school funding unconstitutional and demanded fixes.
The tax hike was the main fundraising mechanism for the plan. The goal wasn’t only to increase overall spending on education, but to even out disparities between rich and poor districts by shifting some of the tax burden away from local levies. The law added a second portion of the state schools levy.
Rates for the 2018 tax year will be frozen and used to determine the state schools levy amount through the 2021 tax year, according to the state Department of Revenue.
The upshot is that taxpayers in Snohomish County will see an increase of 82 cents per $1,000 of assessed property value that goes toward state schools funding compared to 2017.
The owner of a house assessed at $300,000 would pay $246.21 more this year, the owner of a $400,000 house $328.28 more, the owner of a $600,000 house $492.41 more, and so on.
County tax officials are calculating amounts for individual school districts, adding in new voter-approved bonds and levies.
Education-related property taxes are going up for everyone this year, but some people could catch a break after that. The state education-funding bill imposed a cap on some local school district levies. The cap will take effect in 2019.
The state’s property-tax increase was on the minds of Snohomish County Council members recently when they opted to hold the line against any new taxes for the 2018 operating budget.
Noah Haglund: 425-339-3465; email@example.com. Twitter: @NWhaglund.
Homeowners in Snohomish County can expect state education-related property tax increases in 2018. Here’s how much.
Assessed Value/Amount of Increase
$200,000 — $164.14
$300,000 — $246.21
$400,000 — $328.28
$500,000 — $410.35
$600,000 — $492.41
$700,000 — $574.48
$800,000 — $656.55
$900,000 — $738.62