Property tax hike appears to be 4.3 percent

State law might limit Enumclaw’s annual property tax increase to 1 percent but, after several other variables are factored in, city residents are facing a 4.3 percent hike for 2011.

The simple math shows the owner of a $300,000 property – home and land – is paying $606 to the city this year, based on a rate of $2.02 per $1,000 of assessed value. The city’s proposed budget for 2011 includes an increased rate of $2.13, which would result in an annual sum of $639.

The difference between the 1 percent limit imposed by the Revised Code of Washington and the 4.3 percent that could legally be applied stems from new construction, corrections from the prior year and banked, or unused, levy capacity.

In Enumclaw’s case, the 2010 tax collection was built on a total assessed value approximately $48,000 less than was allowed. The taxes on the extra $48,000 can be banked and used at a later date, which the city is eyeing for 2011.

The state also allows jurisdictions to factor in new construction and, in Enumclaw’s case, that’s substantial due to the ongoing construction of the replacement hospital. The portion figured for 2011 collection is nearly $9.2 million.

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