EVERETT — Get ready, homeowners — property taxes are on the rise.
Bills in Snohomish County are rising by an average of 10.7% compared to last year, according to county figures released Tuesday. That means homeowners, on average, can expect to pay an extra $456.08.
In Marysville, it’ll be double that.
Homeowners in the city are to pay an average of 32% more in property taxes than they did last year — a $902.20 increase.
One of the many causes is a new regional fire authority. Approved by voters in April, the public safety levy added another $1.45 to the city’s property tax rate.
The city made some room for the levy by decreasing the amount collected for its general fund by $0.63 per $1,000.
Overall, the tax rate grew by $1.91.
Property owners in seven other cities will see double-digit percentage increases in their tax bills: Bothell (17.4%), Brier (13.9%), Darrington (18.1%), Gold Bar (10.3%), Granite Falls (15.3%), Mill Creek (10.5%) and Sultan (14.2%).
Last year, the county saw a dip in property tax rates. Changes to state education funding and new levies for schools and public safety are contributing to higher bills, Assessor Linda Hjelle said.
This year’s bill doesn’t present the same sticker shock as 2018’s. That year, the average homeowner paid an additional $600 compared to 2017, with four cities seeing property tax tabs grow by more than 20%.
The county Treasurer’s Office intends to mail tax statements on Feb. 14.
Tax rates vary across the county, where voters decide on local and public safety levies. And as property values rises, so do tax bills.
Across the county, voters OK’d 11 of 17 property tax measures in 2019.
In addition to Marysville, voters in Sultan passed an $8 million bond for a new fire station. As a result, someone with a $250,000 home is paying about $137 more this year.
Assessed home values in the country rose on average by 8.5%.
In Darrington the average assessed property value grew 23.1% from 2019 to 2020. That’s the largest increase in the county. Homeowners in the city of about 1,410 are being charged a slightly lower tax rate than last year, but on average, they’ll see an 18.1% spike in their bill.
Index is the only city in the county where the average homeowner’s tax bill will decrease.
In Snohomish County, more than 60% of the property taxes go to education.
How that money is collected has changed over the years.
In 2018, the statewide school levy increased 82 cents to a total of $2.87 per $1,000 as the Legislature tried to comply with the McCleary school funding case.
A year later, lawmakers agreed on a one-time 30 cent reduction to the statewide rate, which helped lower the tab for most of the county in 2019.
This year, the 30 cents is back on the bill.
Property owners can get detailed information on how taxes are collected and distributed with a tool on the Assessor’s Office website homepage.
“Our goal is to get the information out to the public,” Hjelle said. “They can see how their own taxes are collected and distributed to all the taxing districts. And they can do it for three years.”
The county also offers some methods for tax relief.
Exemptions are available for senior citizens and disabled people who earn less than $55,743, and live in the county for nine months per year.
This story has been updated to include additional context for the city of Marysville’s property tax rates.