Enumclaw property tax rate to dip slightly

Tax rates will drop slightly for Enumclaw property owners next year, assuming the current formula holds true.

Tax rates will drop slightly for Enumclaw property owners next year, assuming the current formula holds true.

Members of the City Council voted the evening of Oct. 24 to adopt a 2017 property tax that is a bit lower than the present rate. The vote came on a first reading of the tax ordinance, which will take two more votes to finalize.

Determining a property tax rate is just one step in the complex process of crafting a municipal budget for the coming year. The council will host two more public hearings regarding property taxes – during regularly-scheduled meetings of Nov. 14 and Nov. 28 – and presumably adopt the tax rate as part of the entire budget adoption on Dec. 12.

The numbers being floated aren’t going to make a serious impact on a homeowner’s budget; still, the rate is a bit less than the 2016 number.

The city is looking at a 2017 property tax rate of $1.50662 per $1,000 of assessed property value, down from $1.53059 this year. For the owner of property valued at $300,000 – that includes land and structures – the city’s share of the tax bill for 2017 shapes up to be $451.99.

For that same $300,000 property, the 2016 property tax hit was $459.18.

The difference of $7.19 annually computes to about 60 cents per month.

In the end – when rates drop but property values increase – the total tax bill could jump a bit.

The tax rate calculation begins with a state-imposed limitation: collections can grow by 1 percent annually or by a rate determined by the Implicit Price Deflator, whichever is less. This time around, the IPD was .953 percent.

The property tax rate is largely based on the assessed value of the entire city and also factors in the value of new construction. In the end, the city will look to collect almost $1.9 million in 2017, or nearly $23,000 more than in 2016.

The city is just one entity that levies property taxes in Enumclaw. Others are the Enumclaw School District, the state (for public schools), the King County Library System, Fire District 28, the county and the Port of Seattle. Additionally, there are property tax assessments to help pay for flood mitigation, emergency medical services and regional ferry services.

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