Higher assessed values, higher tax bills in Snohomish County

  • By Noah Haglund Herald Writer
  • Friday, February 19, 2016 12:44pm
  • Local News

EVERETT — Property taxes have risen slightly this year for most Snohomish County homeowners.

Expect an average rise of 1.9 percent in unincorporated areas, 4.2 percent in Everett and 2.4 percent in Marysville. The county treasurer expects to mail tax statements on Saturday.

For all areas of the county, average assessed home values went up 8.5 percent from a year ago, while tax bills rose 2.1 percent.

“That does show that things have stabilized,” Assessor Linda Hjelle said. “We’re seeing an increase in value, but in terms of the amount of taxes being collected, there’s no dramatic change countywide.”

Much of the uptick owes to county voters’ support for tax measures. Four of the six tax proposals on last year’s ballot passed: a lid lift in the city of Stanwood; a 20-year bond for Snohomish County Fire District 26 in the Gold Bar area; a permanent EMS levy for North County Regional Fire Authority; and a 20-year bond for the Monroe School District.

Levies and bonds that passed in a half-dozen local school districts in the Feb. 9 election won’t take effect until next year.

Homeowners in Stanwood, where a new Sno-Isle Library levy also takes effect, can expect property taxes to increase this year by an average 10.8 percent, or $264.

Gold Bar homeowners will see the biggest jump percentage-wise anywhere in the county. That’s due mainly to increases in fire district levies. The average tax bill is up 11.5 percent and the typical Gold Bar homeowner will owe $1,724.84. While $177 higher than last year, that’s only about half of the average property-tax bill countywide.

Homeowners in Mukilteo and Mill Creek will see property taxes dip, by 3.7 and 1.4 percent, respectively.

For all taxing districts in the county, assessed taxes total just under $1.1 billion. That’s up $26 million over 2015.

Home values now stand at an average of $299,000 for the whole county, compared to about $275,000 for the previous tax year. At the extremes were two small towns at geographically opposite ends of the county: Woodway’s average value was $1.1 million, Darrington’s $92,600.

The typical property-tax bill in Snohomish County stands at $3,385, compared to $3,314 for the previous tax year.

Because of Washington’s budget-based taxation system, property taxes don’t rise and fall in tandem with home values.

Local school districts account for more than 42 percent of the average tax bill in Snohomish County, with state education an additional 19 percent.

The next-largest chunk of property taxes goes to cities and towns (11.8 percent), followed by the county (8.3 percent), fire districts (8.1 percent) and roads (5.6 percent).

The first half of this year’s property taxes are due by April 30 and the second half by Oct. 31. Find more info on the county treasurer’s website: www.snohomishcountywa.gov/Treasurer.

Noah Haglund: 425-339-3465, nhaglund@heraldnet.com. Twitter: @NWhaglund.

Discounts for seniors and the disabled

A state law passed in 2015 raised the income threshold for property-tax discount programs available to senior citizens (age 61 and above as of November 2015) and some disabled people. People from those groups can now qualify if they earn $40,000 or less. If they earn $40,000 to $45,000 they could be eligible for a property-tax deferral program.

More info: call 425-388-3433 or visit www.snohomishcountywa.gov/Assessor.

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