New county website to help taxpayers know cost of property tax measures

Also shows where property tax dollars go

King County Assessor John Wilson launched on Wednesday a new Taxpayer Transparency Tool, a website which provides each county resident an individualized accounting of where their property tax dollars go, and the estimated cost of any proposed property tax levy to be voted on.

The new tool can be found at http://localscape.spatialest.com/#kingcountyassessor/Tax.

The tool was tested on a ballot measure in April during the special election and will be widely available for the ballot measures appearing in the August primary, including the proposed renewal levy for the Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS), according to a county media release. All county residents will be able to see how this AFIS renewal levy will affect their tax bill, while residents in the South King County Fire and Rescue District (Federal Way area) can also see how the proposed levy lid lift will impact them.

“Taxpayers have a right to know where their money is going, and what each proposed property tax levy will cost them,” Wilson said in the release. “Property taxes keep going up. We need to make sure the public understands why.”

Wilson said there were several factors that led him to create this new tool:

• The property tax system in Washington State is complicated. This new tool allows voters to make informed decisions about ballot measures, and helps illustrate how the tax system works.

• The Assessor’s Office receives a number of inquiries via phone and email in the lead up to voting on property tax measures by residents wanting to know how much these measures will cost them. This tool will be an efficient and effective way to answer these questions, as residents can find the answer on-line whenever it is convenient for them – not just during normal business hours.

King County taxpayers have seen significant increases in their taxes this year. There are two primary reasons for this increase:

• In recent years, voters have approved ballot measures that will fund vital services through property tax levies.

• Last year state lawmakers voted to dramatically raise the state share of the property tax in order generate more school funding to satisfy the Supreme Court order in the McCleary case. In 2019, local school levies will be reduced, offsetting part of that increase. But in 2018, taxpayers will pay both their current school levy, and the new, increased state property tax. That led to a big spike in the property tax bill in 2018.

“We are working on policy proposals to relive some of the property tax burden on homeowners, especially those on fixed income. In the meantime, the least we can do is give taxpayers more information about our complicated property tax system,” Wilson said.

More in News

Work to soon begin on Auburn Way North | UPDATES

Beginning Monday, Dece. 3, through approximately Tuesday, Dec. 11, utility work for… Continue reading

Do the Auburn Turkey Trot 5K

Thanksgiving morning run to benefit Auburn Public Schools Foundation

When students visit Mary Olson Farm, they are transported to days of subsistence farming.
Help sponsor a child’s visit to Mary Olson Farm

Historic and educational Mary Olson Farm provides free field trips to more… Continue reading

Democrat Debra Entenman unseated incumbent Republican Mark Hargrove for the District 47 House spot in Olympia. COURTESY PHOTO
Entenman took campaign on foot to secure state House seat

Democrat and political newcomer beats incumbent Hargrove to represent District 47

New Dick’s Drive-In on Kent’s West Hill to officially open Dec. 12

Popular burger joint plans grand opening, ribbon cutting

South King County Veterans Workshop and Job Fair set for Dec. 11

King County Councilmember Pete von Reichbauer hosts a Veterans Workshop and Job… Continue reading

WSDOT to be the first statewide agency to host an artist-in-residence

An artist-in-residence will spend a year working with the Washington State Department… Continue reading

KCLS Foundation awarded $80,000 Boeing grant for libraries to expand STEAM education

The King County Library System Foundation (KCLSF) has been awarded an $80,000… Continue reading

City on ice

Main Street Plaza makes way for seasonal skating rink

Most Read