Enumclaw council to consider minimal property tax hike

Property taxes in Enumclaw will increase minimally in 2016, according to figures detailed in the city’s annual budgeting process.

A memo from the city’s Finance Department indicates the owner of property – including land and home – valued at $300,000 can expect a yearly increase of about $10.

Figures are all preliminary at this point, as the seven members of the Enumclaw City Council will not finalize a 2016 municipal budget until their meeting of Dec. 8.

As a starting point, cities throughout Washington with a population greater than 10,000, like Enumclaw, can bump their property tax rate in one of two ways – either by 1 percent or the amount of the Implicit Price Deflater of the previous year’s levy. Cities, by state code, are limited to the lesser of those two options.

Looking at 2016, the IPD is .251 percent, so city administration is looking to dip into some of its “banked” levy capacity. Allowed a 1 percent increase each year, the city hasn’t always taken the full increase; when economic times were good, only part of the allowable increase was taken and the remainder was “banked” for another day.

Starting with last year’s collection and adding the IPD and some banked capacity, then figuring in new construction in the city, the city administration has determined property tax collections for 2016 will increase to a little more than $1.8 million.

That means Enumclaw property owners will pay approximately $1.54 in property tax for every $1,000 of assessed property value. The owner of property valued at $300,000 paid about $452 this year and can expect to pay approximately $462 in 2016.

The city’s property tax levy will be the topic of a public hearing during the council’s Nov. 9 meeting. The public is welcome to attend and address the council with questions or concerns. It will be the second public hearing on the proposed property tax.

A third and final public hearing is planned for the council session that begins at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 23.