King County property values rise at ‘unprecedented’ charges; tax hikes probably

The area’s scorching actual property market has led to “unprecedented” will increase in residence values that may drive up subsequent yr’s property-tax payments, in accordance with the King County Assessor’s Workplace.

House values are up all around the county, and notably in Eastside areas akin to Redmond (43%), Woodinville (44%) and Kirkland (44.5%).

The Sammamish Plateau topped the record with a 52% enhance from the earlier yr, in accordance with the assessor’s workplace. In Seattle, values in Rainier Seaside are up 19%.

The very best will increase are vital, even for the overheated Seattle-area housing market. Final yr, values have been up by as a lot as 18% to 22% in some areas. 

This yr’s property-tax payments are primarily based on final yr’s assessed values, however these new values will decide subsequent yr’s taxes. The assessor’s workplace will mail out valuation notices beginning this week. 

Since early within the pandemic, native homebuyers have confronted stiff competitors, spurred by a mixture of few homes on the market, a flood of patrons trying to make the most of low mortgage rates of interest, and a seamless inflow of extremely paid staff with inventory choices. That has pushed up residence costs throughout the area, particularly outdoors Seattle. The median worth for a single-family home in King County hit practically $1 million final month. 

With mortgage charges on the rise, the market has not too long ago began to point out indicators of cooling off. However county assessments are primarily based on estimated values as of Jan. 1.

Whereas it might appear uncommon, rising property values don’t at all times have an enormous impact on property tax payments. 

That’s due to the best way Washington calculates property taxes. The assessor’s workplace primarily determines how a lot property tax income is owed to varied public businesses. Then, to succeed in that complete quantity, the assessor determines how a lot to cost every property proprietor, primarily based on the worth of the property. The quantity the county generates can’t enhance by greater than 1% every year, apart from one bit exception: voter-approved tax will increase akin to college levies. 

So, when residence values are rising evenly all around the county, tax will increase are largely affected by these levies, not by rising values. However when values climb quicker in some areas than others, property homeowners can see spikes of their payments due to these rising values.

That’s what’s occurring this yr, and it’ll enhance taxes for some property homeowners subsequent yr, in accordance with the assessor’s workplace. The county gained’t ship tax payments till subsequent yr, however the hottest native housing markets are prone to see “a double-digit enhance,” Wilson stated.

“It isn’t a direct ‘my worth went up 30% so my taxes will go up 30%,’ however once you hit this magnitude it has some influence,” he stated. “We don’t wish to child the general public.”

The county’s excessive assessments in areas northeast of Seattle roughly echo residence gross sales information from the Northwest A number of Itemizing Service, which The Seattle Occasions maps every month.

Rising property values have created a windfall for homeowners trying to promote, however can pressure lower-income owners who purchased lengthy earlier than values rose or tenants whose landlords cite property taxes as a justification for lease hikes.

The county gives property-tax reductions for sure seniors and other people with disabilities, however that program has been overwhelmed with purposes, forcing folks to attend months for a choice.

Property homeowners can attraction their valuation inside 60 days of the date on the cardboard they obtain within the mail. Discover extra details about exemptions and appeals at

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