Don't panic, but property taxes are increasing about 15 percent this year | KUOW News and Information

Don't panic, but property taxes are increasing about 15 percent this year

Jun 13, 2018

It's that time of year again when King County sends out property value assessments to homes and businesses.

The King County Assessor's Office is expecting property taxes in King County to increase this year between 10 and 15 percent.

Here's what King County Assessor John Wilson says you should do when you get that little card in the mail:

"Okay, first: Don't panic," Wilson says. Don't panic because the assessments are not always definitive.

"Second: Look at the card really carefully then go online and look at your property on the assessor's website," he says. "See if by chance there is something about your property that we might have an error."

With over 700,000 properties in King County, he says their assessments often need revising.

For example: "A couple of years ago, we had a gentleman in Seattle who we once had marked as a view property of Lake Washington. But his neighbors just across the property line had a huge tree that had grown up over time and now blocked his view. Well, we changed that." 

Each year about 2 percent of King County homeowners appeal their property value assesments. John Wilson expects more this year as taxes rise.
Credit King County

The county urges everyone to review their assessments especially since the state passed its four-year budget to fully fund public schools last November — known as the McCleary decision. 

That plan has driven up property taxes to pay for schools.

"It's going to be all the more important for King County residents to take a careful look at their assessed value," Wilson says. 

County officials say they are working on some form of tax relief, but the details are still being finalized.

You can file a claim on your property assessment at King County's website.