You can search for property value, taxes and comparable sales information on the Pierce County Assessor’s website at https://atip.piercecountywa.gov/#/app/parcelSearch/search. Image courtesy Pierce County

You can search for property value, taxes and comparable sales information on the Pierce County Assessor’s website at https://atip.piercecountywa.gov/#/app/parcelSearch/search. Image courtesy Pierce County

Assessments are in, Pierce County property values continue to climb

Properties in Orting saw the greatest percentage increase over last year

Property throughout Pierce County continues to increase in value, including those areas in and around Buckley.

That’s the result gleaned from the latest round of assessments done by the county assessor. That effort placed values on more than 327,000 individual parcels, with results either mailed or emailed last week to property owners.

The 2020 values will be reflected in the next round of tax statements, used as the basis for property taxes billed in February 2021.

“Homes in all parts of our county continue to increase in value,” said Mike Lonergan, Pierce County’s assessor-treasurer. Overall, he said, residential properties went up 8.8 percent this year, compared to a 7.5 percent jump in 2019, due to a continued strong real estate market.

Buckley was in the countywide ballpark, with the new average value for a single-family residence coming in at $350,818. That’s an increase of approximately 8.2 percent over last year. Nearby, the city of Bonney Lake’s average value is much higher at $421,141, but the annual increase was smaller (7.2 percent) from 2019.

Expanding Buckley’s borders a bit wider, taking in the entire White River School District, shows an average assessment of $384,947. That, too, is an increase of 8.2 percent over the previous year. In the small Carbonado school district, the average property value was pegged at $313,624, an increase of more than 8.8 percent.

Here’s a look at some surrounding Pierce County cities and towns. Included are the number of parcels assessed, the average property value for 2020 and the increase (by percentage) from 2019:

• Buckley: 1,570; $350,818; 8.226;

• Bonney Lake: 6,491; $421,141; 7.246;

• Wilkeson: 214; $229,814; 10.322;

• Carbonado: 225; $286,624; 9.636;

• Orting: 2,628; $323,290; 10.803;

• South Prairie: 118; $226,804; 7.981;

• Sumner: 2,472; $366,177; 6.653;

State law requires the assessor-treasurer to value properties as of Jan. 1, so the numbers released last week by Lonergan’s office do not reflect any change that may result from the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Actually, real estate sales have continued strong so far,” Lonergan said, “and if there is a softening of the market, that will begin to show up in next year’s assessed values.”

Lonergan cautioned homeowners not to jump to the conclusion that an increase in property value will result in a tax hike.

“It’s a math equation,” he said. “Your tax in 2021 will be the new 2020 value multiplied by the combined tax rates of your school district, city, fire district and so forth, added to the state and countywide property taxes that everyone pays.”

In the end, Lonergan said, much of the property tax bill is determined by “votes by the public and the Legislature.”

Countywide averages can be misleading, Lonergan added, because values change at varying rates in different communities. “The increase in Tacoma was slightly above the county average, bringing the typical Tacoma residence to $351,000, which is an increase of nearly $30,000,” he explained. “By contrast Roy’s increase was the lowest at 6 percent, for an average 2020 home value of $262,000.”

The highest average value in the county is $534,000 in Gig Harbor, up from $489,000 in 2019. The greatest percentage increase from year to year was 10.8 percent in Orting, for a new average value of $323,000.

One group of homeowners, scattered throughout much of the county, is seeing especially large percentage increases this year.

“Our depreciation tables were under-valuing most mobile homes by an average of 25 percent,” Lonergan said. “The demand for affordable housing has pushed resale prices for manufactured housing higher, and I am required by law to reflect that, so that everyone is taxed fairly.”

He added that any property owner who believes their property has been assessed unfairly may appeal to the Pierce County Board of Equalization at no cost. The appeal must be filed no later than Aug. 24, providing evidence that comparable properties have sold recently at a lower amount. More information is available at www.piercecountywa.gov/atr.


Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing editor@courierherald.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.courierherald.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 500 words or less.

More in News

Shingles and siding from many Suntop Farms homes right outside Enumclaw were ripped off during the winter storm earlier this month, but many residents believe the fault lies with developer LGI for cutting corners. Photo courtesy Seth Pohlman
Suntop Farms residents claim shoddy work by LGI caused home damage during recent winter storm

Many believe the damage should be covered by their home warranty, but they’ve been declined, citing “acts of God.”

A South King Fire & Rescue firefighter places a used test swab into a secure COVID test vial on Nov. 18, 2020, at a Federal Way testing site. (Sound Publishing file photo)
Masks are still king in combating new COVID strains

A top UW doctor talks new strains, masks and when normal could return.

Image courtesy King County
Enumclaw hits 600 COVID cases

5 percent of city residents have come down with the virus.

Washington State Capitol Building in Olympia. File photo
Democrats look to allow noncitizens to serve on school boards

A Senate bill takes aim at a state law requiring anyone seeking elected office to be a citizen.

Enumclaw Mayor Jan Molinaro
Mayor to deliver “State of Enumclaw” address

The address is scheduled for Feb. 24.

Enumclaw School District Superintendent Shaun Carey got to spotlight Enumclaw's achievements in returning to school with low COVID-19 transmission rates during a statewide briefing with Gov. Jay Inslee. Screenshot
Superintendent Carey joins Inslee to announce additional school testing

Enumclaw was one of the first schools in the state to join a Department of Health pilot program for testing school staff.

A CVS pharmacist prepares a COVID-19 vaccine at Village Green Retirement Campus in Federal Way on Jan. 26. Olivia Sullivan/Sound Publishing
State health leader: We have a plan, we don’t have the supply

Two months after the COVID vaccine landed in Washington, many still struggle to secure their shots.

Gov. Jay Inslee talks about schools reopening during a Tuesday news conference. (TVW)
Inslee signs $2.2 billion COVID relief package

The federal funds will go to fight COVID, aid renters and reopen shuttered schools and businesses.

File photo
How the pandemic and coronavirus variants can show us evolution in real time

Scientists say viruses reproduce and mutate at higher rates, creating viral variants.

Most Read