Expect higher bills for property taxes this year, announced Pierce County officials, because the Legislature increased education spending and several school districts passed capital bonds that are taking effect.
On the low end, taxes for the average home will rise 4 to 9 percent in Puyallup, Edgewood, Steilacoom, and DuPont. On the high end, taxes are increasing 20 percent in Lakewood, University Place, Parkland-Spanaway, and Fircrest. In Tacoma and Gig Harbor, taxes will go up an average of 14 percent, according to the news release.
“The Legislature’s previous limit of $1.50 per thousand dollars of property value on local school enrichment levies was increased to $2.50,” Pierce County Assessor-Treasurer Mike Lonergan said in a statement, “and a 30-cent reduction in the state school levy has expired. So that’s a $1.30 per thousand increase to start with.”
Bethel, Peninsula, and Yelm school districts and the city of Fircrest passed bond issues that begin this year, and six fire districts have voter-approved levies or lid lifts that begin this year as well. Longergan said 58 percent of the taxes collected go toward K-12 education, so the increase will “make a huge difference,” for local schools.
Property owners who directly pay their taxes should expect to see a statement in the mail during the middle of this month. Those who pay taxes out of their mortgage accounts can look up their tax bill online. The first half of the payment is due April 30 and the entire balance is due by Nov. 2.
One other tax change that occurred this year, according to Lonergan, is an increase in the maximum household income to qualify for a low-income senior or disabled exemption. A household can make no more than $45,708 annually to qualify for the exemption. An application form can be found online or picked up at the Pierce County Annex.