Many King County homeowners can expect to receive a higher property tax bill in the mail this month, including residents in Lake Forest Park. But Shoreline residents can expect a bit of a break.
Overall, 2013 property tax rates are up 3.35 percent in King County, even though total home values have dropped by 1.48 percent, according to the county tax assessor's office.
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But not all homeowners will pay more property taxes this year. Twenty-eight of 39 cities actually saw home values decrease, and many areas will end up paying less.
In Shoreline, for instance, the tax rate per $1,000 of assessed value edged up 49 cents, from $14.27 in 2012 to $14.76 in 2013. But the median assessed home value dropped about 9 percent, from $276,000 in 2012 to $251,000 in 2013, according to figures from the assessor's office. That means the average tax bill will drop by about $234, or 6 percent.
In Lake Forest Park, however, the median home value stayed flat at $328,000, while the tax rate per $1,000 of assessed value rose from $13.47 to $14.01. That means the average tax bill will go up $177, or 4 percent.
In areas with increases, King County says much of the jump is coming from voter-approved measures. Last year, county residents passed a property tax levy to continue funding an automated fingerprint identification system for $18,528,341 and a nine-year levy for the Children and Family Justice Center for $21,908,512.
But the county says not all tax-rate jumps are due to voter measures. Home values increased in many parts of King County, including the Eastside.
“We are beginning to see a recovery in the housing market in King County,” King County Assessor Lloyd Hara said in a news release. “Though property values continue to decline in most areas, there are also a number of areas where property values are increasing, including in the city of Seattle and the Eastside.”
Property tax bills for 2013 will be mailed out on Feb. 14. Homeowners have until April 30 to pay first-half taxes; second-half bills are due Oct. 31.
•Questions about your property tax bill? See the assessor's "quick answers" page for details.
•Senior citizens can get answers about available relief programs here.