New income thresholds for property tax reduction programs

Far more residents will be eligible for assistance in 2020

King County Assessor John Wilson announced Wednesday that low-income senior citizens, individuals with disabilities, and disabled veterans, with 2019 annual incomes below $58,423 may be eligible for property tax relief in 2020 under guidelines published by the state Department of Revenue.

The previous threshold had been $40,000.

Applications for the expanded programs will be available in January 2020.

The change is the result of passage of ESSB 5160, sponsored by Sen. Manka Dhingra, D-45th Legislative District, during the 2019 legislative session. The bill significantly expands the number of people eligible for the existing property tax exemption and deferral programs by replacing the statewide $40,000 threshold with an income level equal to 65 percent of the county median income. In King County, that threshold is $58,423.

“This legislation is literally going to help people stay in their homes,” Wilson said. “Beginning with next year’s taxes, tens of thousands of our neighbors will get the help they need.”

ESSB 5160 expands the qualifying income thresholds for the property tax exemption and deferral programs for low-income senior citizens, individuals with disabilities, and disabled veterans, beginning with taxes levied for collection in 2020. It also lowers the disability rating necessary to qualify as a disabled veteran for exemption program from a 100 percent rating to an 80 percent rating.

The Assessor’s website includes the latest information on implementation of these programs at kingcounty.gov.

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