Buckley, Wilkeson, Orting property values increase

Pierce County assesses property values rose more than 6% this year.

Pierce County property values are trending up again after dropping last year.

In 2023, the average property value dropped 3.1%, and the decrease was even more in Buckley at 3.9%. But this year’s increase more than made up for that loss, with an average increase of 6% across the county, according to Pierce County Assessor-Treasurer Mike Lonergan

Buckley’s property values increased 5.4%, from just about $480,000 to a little less than $506,000.

To the south, Wilkeson’s property values increased almost 7.2%, from $319,000 to $342,000.

Finally, home values in Orting went up 7.8%, from just under $442,000 to nearly $477,000. This increase was one of the larger ones across the county.

In a press release, Lonergan noted that increasing property values does not mean an automatic increase in property taxes, since the county can only collect 1% more in property taxes each consecutive year; that means property tax rates have to decrease to compensate.

Instead, levies and bonds passed by voters are how property taxes are majorly affected.

For example, Buckley residents will be voting on increasing its Emergency Medical Services levy from 30 cents to 50 cents to support their local fire district this August. Doing so would increase the taxes on a $500,000 home by $100.

In total, Pierce County expects to collect $196 billion in property taxes.

Finally, Lonergan reminded seniors that they can apply for reduced property taxes if their gross income is below $64,000 a year, an increase from 2022, when the limit was $43,700.