Property values decrease for 2011

Property values in Enumclaw have dipped for the third straight year and the accompanying tax statements should show a decrease of about 1 percent.

That’s the word being spread by King County Assessor Lloyd Hara, who dropped by Enumclaw last week to share the financial news. His timing was geared to the mailing of property assessments, which typically hit mailboxes in the days around Valentines Day.

Considering properties only inside the city limits, Hara said the average assessed value is $227,400, down from $233,900 a year ago. The assessment takes into account both a home, or commercial property, and the land it sits on.

When property values decrease, the offshoot is an increase in tax rates, as individual taxing entities (city, schools, etc.) still aim to collect the same amount of tax dollars or slightly more. That’s the case in Enumclaw, where the 2011 total tax rate is pegged at $11.49 per $1,000 of assessed property value.

That adds up to a 2011 tax bill of $2,613 for the owner of property valued at the $227,400 average.

Given last year’s numbers, the average tax bill was $2,638, or about 1 percent more than will be collected this time around. That means the owner of an average property will pay about $25 less in taxes during 2011, Hara said.

As always, the biggest chunk of anyone’s property tax goes to support public schools. The state claims approximately $2.28 for every $1,000 of property value and the Enumclaw School District takes another $5.12. The local collections were all approved by voters who supported a maintenance and operation levy ($3.08), bond issue ($1.08) and capital improvement levy (96 cents).

King County also take a decent share of the tax collection, receiving $1.15 for countywide levies and smaller sums for items like the Conservation Futures program, transportation (Metro) and flood protection. Enumclaw property owners also pay a small amount toward county ferries.

Another 22 cents per $1,000 of property value is collected to help fund the King County Port District.

Finally, a collection of $2.11 is directed to the city of Enumclaw’s general fund, which supports everything from police operations to youth programs.

Next year’s statements will look different, Hara pointed out, as city residents begin paying into Fire Protection District 28, rather than the city. That’s the result of fall’s annexation vote. Things will also change if Enumclaw voters decide, during an April 26 election, to annex into the King County Library System.

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