OLYMPIA – Oct. 23, 2013 – The Washington State Department of Revenue (Revenue) has released its annual report on property taxes and levies assessed by all taxing districts in the state. Among the highlights:
- Property tax levies due in 2013 increased 2.3 percent to $9.5 billion.
- The $210 million increase included $33 million in property tax revenues stemming from new construction added to the tax rolls in 2012.
- San Juan County has the highest average assessed single family home property values in the state at $383,498.
- The county with the lowest average assessed single family home property values is Lincoln County in eastern Washington. There the average home property value is $61,777.
- Pierce County has the highest average levy rate: $15.43 per $1,000 assessed value.
Property taxes are made up of levies established by local taxing districts such as counties, cities, schools, libraries, fire districts, parks districts, hospitals and emergency medical services.
County assessors determine a property’s value and calculate levy rates, and county treasurers collect and distribute the taxes to the taxing districts. They also collect the state property tax that is dedicated to supporting public schools.
Property taxes are based on the value of property as of January 1 of each year. Property taxes assessed in 2013 will be collected in 2014. Any new construction added in 2012 is reflected in the property taxes due in 2013.
State and local school levies grew 3.3 percent to $5.3 billion in 2013. The proportion of levy dollars that goes to schools rose to 55.9 percent, a 0.6 percent increase. The state school levy is $1.935 billion (+1.8 percent over 2012). Local voter-approved levies increased 4.1 percent to $3.377 billion.
The levies collected by counties increased 3 percent to $1.54 billion. County levies account for 16.2 percent of all property taxes. Cities’ levies increased to $1.26 billion, representing 13.2 percent share of property taxes.
Revenue compiles the property taxes assessed by all taxing districts into a report each year. This year’s report, as well as reports from years past, can be found on the Property Tax Statistics page on Revenue’s website.
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The Department of Revenue is Washington state’s primary tax administration agency and has been nationally recognized for innovation and service quality. Many of Washington’s programs and essential services are supported by Revenue’s tax collection efforts. In fiscal year 2013, Revenue collected more than $18 billion from nearly 60 different tax sources. These dollars support public schools, social services, health care, corrections, public safety and natural resources conservation.