Property Tax Revenues Increase 2.1 Percent in 2010

OLYMPIA, Wash., Sept. 15, 2010 - Property tax revenues increased 2.1 percent to $8.8 billion in 2010, the Washington State Department of Revenue reported today.

Approximately $52 million of the $181.6 million in additional revenue over 2009 stems from new construction added to the tax rolls. Another $99.2 million is due to higher voter-approved levies.

Voters approved 38.6 percent of property taxes due in 2010 through school levies and bonds, levy lid lifts, funding for emergency medical services and other measures.

The average property tax on a single-family home dropped $26 to $2,618, based on calculations of data included in Property Tax Statistics 2010 - published this week in the statistics and reports section of Revenue's website, . Results vary by county.

Levy rates rose to a statewide average of $10.28 per $1,000 assessed value due largely to an 8.1 percent drop in the assessed values of existing properties.

Clark County experienced the largest decline in 2009 assessed values used to determine 2010 taxes.

Assessed values of existing properties, not counting new construction, dropped 13.7 percent in Clark County, 13 percent in King County, 9.9 percent in Kitsap County, and 8.6 percent in Snohomish County.

Other highlights from the annual report:

  • A total of 54.2 percent of property taxes - $4.8 billion - funds K-12 schools through the state school levy and voter-approved local levies and bonds.
  • Counties will receive 16.5 percent or $1.5 billion of the total; cities will collect 13.5 percent or $1.2 billion; and junior taxing districts such as hospital, fire districts, ports and libraries will share 15.9 percent or $1.4 billion.
  • Property tax revenue increased by the highest percentage in Grant County at 19.9 percent (mainly due to new construction), followed by a 9.4 percent increase in Lewis County.  Taxes decreased 0.9 percent in Franklin County and 0.8 percent in San Juan County.
  • Adams County came closest to valuing real properties at 100 percent of market value at 99.8 percent; while Chelan County lagged the most at 75.7 percent. The statewide average was 87.7 percent.
  • A total of 114,359 senior citizen households on limited incomes saved $173.8 million in property taxes through relief programs.
  • The taxable value of 11.4 million acres of agricultural, timber and open space lands was reduced nearly 75 percent to $4.7 billion through the current use assessment program.
  • More than 6 million acres of privately owned designated forest land had a taxable value of $650 million.
  • The effective property tax rate, which expresses taxes as a percent of current market value rather than assessed value, averaged 0.91 percent statewide.
  • The chart below includes other real property type, not including centrally assessed properties such as utilities, railroads and commercial vessels:

Type Number Value
Single Family 2,204,655 $561.2 billion
Multiple Family 87,998 $53.9 billion
Commercial 139,643 $122.6 billion
Manufacturing 9,892 $27.7 billion
Agricultural (not in current use program) 25,382 $2.5 billion
Other 565,443 $47.6 billion

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