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Snohomish County homeowners bracing for up to 27% increase in tax bill

Homeowners in Snohomish County could see a 16-percent increase on their property tax bills when they’re mailed out next month.

The Daily Herald reports the bill for the average-valued home will increase by $600 compared to 2017.

“I’m trying hard to get information out to the public so they’re aware of the changes and aware of the impact,” Snohomish County Assessor Linda Hjelle told The Herald. “As soon as we got the numbers, I wanted to get them out to the public.”

Lake Stevens homeowners will see the biggest increase — 27.7 percent — and Lynnwood, Mountlake Terrace, and Brier will see a 20 percent increase, according to the Daily. In Woodway, where the average home is assessed at $1.3 million, residents will experience the lowest tax increase at 2.5 percent.

Why the drastic change?

Snohomish County homeowners are paying an extra 82 cents per $1,000 worth of assessed property value to pay for changes in state education funding largely fueled by the Supreme Court ruling in the McCleary case, the Daily reports. That and other increases in local municipalities for education levies and fire protection.

A little relief is expected in 2019 when a state cap of local levies is supposed to keep the combined state and local tax bill for education below or at 2017 levels in Everett, Mukilteo, Sultan and other school districts, according to the Daily.

Tax bills are typically mailed in mid-February with half due by the end of April and the other half due at the end of October.

Republican lawmaker proposes relief bill

State Representative Cary Condotta (R-Wenatchee) proposed legislation that would provide relief for homeowners by reducing the property tax.

“My particular bill would take the state property tax back from 81 cents to 50 cents where it started, and would eliminate most of the tax increases that you’re seeing due to the McCleary decision that this year. We have the money to do it,” he said. “There’s two-point-one billion dollars sitting on the table down here. There’s no reason we can’t spend 330-million dollars to get rid of that tax increase.”

Condotta says property tax reduction is a high priority for Republicans this session.

“We just feel strongly that with four years of record revenue increases – four years in a row – it’s time to give some back.”

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