Property taxes in Pierce County to rise in 2021 but maybe not as much as they did in ’20

Property taxes in Pierce County to rise in 2021 but maybe not as much as they did in ’20
Pierce County’s property taxes continue to increase for most in 2021, according to the Assessor-Treasurer’s Office.

PIERCE COUNTY, Wash. — The Pierce County Assessor-Treasurer’s Office has announced that property taxes countywide will see a 4.8 percent increase this year over 2020.

Property tax statements for 2021 will be mailed to homeowners the week of Feb. 15. The percent change across the county is dependent on factors like school bonds and levies, city taxes, fire districts taxes, noxious weed control taxes and Sound Transit taxes.

“For the past three years, tax bills fluctuated due to the McCleary court decision on school funding,” Assessor-Treasurer Mike Lonergan said in a press release. “This year they’ve settled down in most areas, even decreasing in a couple districts.”

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The highest tax increase from last year was in White River, where property saw an increase in value of 10.75 percent, according to data from the office.

White River and Puyallup school districts approved supplemental levies, resulting in $500 of $350 tax increases on the average home.

Tacoma property owners will experience the smallest tax increase, only $40 on the average home, largely due to a reduced Metropolitan Park District construction bond, the office said.

Some areas saw a decrease in property taxes.

Orting will see a reduction in taxes of 3.71 percent, or about $170 on the average home, due to decreased school levy rates, the office said. A new fire district funding structure left the Graham Fire District with a drop in property taxes. The new “Benefit Charge” bases costs on property types and the fire risk posed by different structures.

State and school taxes add up to nearly 60 percent of all property taxes in Pierce County, the office said. The cities, county and the Pierce County Road District add up to 21 percent and fire districts are 11 percent. Parks, libraries, and transit make up the last 10 percent, according to county data.

In 2020, most property owners had big tax jumps after the state Legislature increased the maximum amount school districts can levy, from $1.50 to $2.50 per $1,000 of property value.

Half of the 2021 property tax payment is due by April 30 and the other half by Nov. 1.

The COVID-19 pandemic has closed the office, but Assessor-Treasurer staff can be contacted by calling 253-798-6111.

PROPERTY TAX CHANGES

School District 2019 average value 202 average value 2020 average tax 2021 average tax Percent tax change
Auburn #408 $450,115 $485,216 $5,708.84 $6,221.25 8.98%
Bethel #403 $319,413 $349,489 $4,563.0 $4,520.87 −0.92%
Carbonado #19 $326,312 $353,010 $2,978.93 $3,146.44 5.62%
Clover Park #400 $343,872 $378,124 $4,499.31 $4,775.81 6.15%
Dieringer #343 $611,105 $653,162 $7,982.63 $8,344.0 4.53%
Eatonville #404 $347,023 $379,776 $4,073.64 $4,415.1 8.38%
Fife #417 $380,542 $410,313 $4,879.61 $5,192.31 6.41%
Franklin Pierce #402 $296,205 $323,573 $3,778.41 $3,894.84 3.08%
Orting #344 $337,479 $365,842 $4,585.44 $4,415.23 −3.71%
Peninsula #401 $551,158 $593,169 $6,157.48 $6,396.87 3.89%
Puyallup #3 $367,806 $396,808 $4,322.37 $4,676.25 8.19%
Steilacoom #1 $367,315 $399,449 $4,728.45 $4,946.76 4.62%
Sumner #320 $404,697 $432,961 $5,592.73 $5,785.32 3.44%
Tacoma #10 $337,294 $367,271 $4,563 $4,604.14 0.90%
University Place #83 $428,606 $467,690 $5,994.89 $6,246 4.19%
White River #416 $386,137 $416,338 $4,825.0 $5,343.49 10.75%
Yelm #2 $366,520 $398,676 $4,811.54 $5,048.69 4.93%

Table: The News Tribune Source: Pierce County Assessor-Treasurer’s Office Get the data