Rising property values are pushing up rent, not taxes

I skimmed an article about how first-time home buyers are in a tough place due to the prohibitive prices. They talked about under building as a contributing factor, and the difficulty they face saving money for a down payment. The article did not go into detail about what might be causing this difficulty. I will present my hypothesis.

Let’s start with property tax. My property tax is roughly 1 percent of my home’s assessed value. Had I bought my home 10 years ago, my property tax would still have been roughly 1 percent of my home’s assessed value. This is according to publicly available property tax data for Washington state. Rent on the other hand has increased year over year by more than 3 percent on average. According to data I obtained from ipropertymanagement.com, rents have increased at a rate which is 270 percent higher than annual wage increases.

I have argued this point with many acquaintances who insist that increasing rents are a direct result of increasing property taxes. They are not. It is due to increasing property value. Renters are being punished by landlords because their property value has increased, not their tax rate. How is it that I can know everyone is getting gouged, and this isn’t huge in the local news? No wonder we can’t figure out how to help the homeless, we’re ignoring one of the obvious contributing factors; oppressive rent.

Berb Kidder


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