King County property values jump… and so could your taxes

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SEATTLE — The more than 700,000 property owners in King County will soon get property valuation notices in the mail.

The good news? The value of your property has probably increased. The bad news? This means you’ll likely pay more in property taxes.

The hot real estate market has caused most home values to spike, Bailey Stober with the King County Assessor’s Office said in a release.

A countywide average of home value increases was not immediately available, but many neighborhoods will see a jump of more than 10 percent valuation.

An partial list of property value increase percentages over last year, from the King County Assessor's Office:

  • West Central Shoreline – 16.5%
  • Lake Forest Park / Kenmore – 11.4%
  • Eastern West Seattle – 13%
  • Rainier Valley / Beacon Hill – 19.3%
  • Boulevard Park / White Center – 18.6%
  • Auburn – 13.4%
  • Kentridge – 17%
  • Ravenna / U Dist. – 11.7%
  • Newcastle – 15.4%
  • Issaquah – 11.7%
  • Downtown Bellevue – 19%
  • High Point / Highland Park – 15.8%
  • Snoqualmie / North Bend – 16%
  • Algona / Pacific – 13.1%
  • Des Moines / SeaTac / Kent – 21.2%
  • Skykomish – 13.3%
  • Vashon Island – 16.9%

King County property owners already pay among the highest taxes in the country, the Seattle Times reports, with the average property tax bill soaring 35 percent since 2013. The average annual home property-tax bill has jumped nearly $1,000 in the past two years.

Higher home valuation typically means higher taxes, so homeowners could see another big spike in bills this year.

However, just how much their property bill will jump depends on local tax levies and other complex tax factors.

"If values go up 10 percent it doesn't mean that taxes go up 10 percent," Stober said in a release. "This will all depend on levies, most of which are voter approved."

King County Assessor John Wilson said it's indeed property tax decisions made by voters that most greatly impact your bills.

"Decisions made by voters, in terms of approving special levies; and by elected officials in terms of adopting budgets, determine the total amount of tax to be collected in your area; the value of your property determines your share of that total amount," Wilson said.

State law requires county assessor to revalue property annually, and for certified appraisers to conduct an on-site physical inspection at least once every six years.

Valuation notices will be sent out through September. Property owners who believe their assessment may be incorrect can appeal to the Board of Equalization within 60 days of receiving the valuation notice.