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Property taxes in King County going up 17% on average this year

SEATTLE — Property taxes across King County will increase about 17 percent on average this year, primarily because of additional funding for K-12 education, the county announced Tuesday.

About 57 percent of property tax revenue collected in King County pays for schools, the county said in a news release. Property taxes also finance voter-approved measures for veterans and seniors, fire protection, parks and other services.

“King County Treasury will begin sending out the annual property tax bills in mid February,” the county said.

New levies approved in 2017 for collection this year include:

  • Fire protection levies in Maple Valley, Vashon, and Skyway.
  • School bonds for Shoreline and Federal Way.
  • Renewal of the Veterans, Seniors and Human Services levy in King County.

In addition to approved local measures, the Washington Legislature in 2017 passed an additional property tax to increase funding of education. Previously, the State Supreme Court ruled that the state must make new investments into public education; as a result the Legislature added $1.01 per $1,000 of assessed value, in King County, to their portion of property tax collection in order to fund the mandate.

“Communities in our region are thankful to voters for approving new funding for essential services, but we know that property taxes can be especially tough for those on fixed incomes,” King County Assessor John Wilson said. “That’s why we’ve been aggressively reaching out to seniors, veterans and disabled homeowners with the property tax exemption program. Additionally, I’ve been working with Executive Constantine to create more tools for transparency around property taxes.”