City Council Approves Small Property Tax Increase

Via press release, the City of Snoqualmie said it will be raising regular property taxes by 1% effective January 1, 2016, which equates to 2.5 cents per $1,000 of assessed property value – or about $12 per year for the average property taxesSnoqualmie home.

Per state law, taxing districts can raise [their portion of] property taxes up to 1% each year without a citizen vote. The Snoqualmie City Council approved the increase at its November 23rd meeting.

This council-approved increase will bring in about $64,000 in additional tax funding for the City of Snoqualmie in 2016.

The press release explained that although cities are limited to an increase in regular property tax levy to 1% per year without a vote of the citizens,  “costs associated with municipal operations rise at a much faster rate due to employee wage, benefit, and materials cost inflation.”

The City of Snoqualmie uses regular property tax revenue primarily to cover ongoing operations including, but not limited to, public safety (police, fire, EMT); streets maintenance and safety improvements; and maintenance of parks, trails, and natural areas.

The city also collects an “excess” tax, approved by voters in 2002, that repays bond debt incurred to build the Snoqualmie Fire Station. In 2016, this voter approved portion – or “excess” – property tax levy equates to $0.105 per $1,000 of assessed property value.

The city explained this “excess” property tax portion is neither a new tax nor a tax increase with regards to 2016 city property taxes.

Together with the regular property tax increase and excess tax, Snoqualmie property owners will pay a total of $2.68 per $1,000 of assessed property value in 2016, which totals $1,315 on a home assessed at $490,000 – the average home price in Snoqualmie.

[** This is the city portion of property taxes.  When combined with other taxing districts (schools, hospital, flood, park, etc), total property tax rate will be higher than the city portion. **]

Assessed Value on the Rise

The assessed property value of the City of Snoqualmie increased by about 9% in 2016, due in part to rising home values and new homes being added to the city’s tax base.  Although the assessed value of Snoqualmie is rising, the city’s 2016 tax rate actually declined slightly to 2.68% from 2.80%

The Snoqualmie Hospital District also increased its tax rate by the allowable 1% at a special meeting on November 12, 2016.  The City of North Bend City Council was also considering the 1% increase this month, something it had been reluctant to do over the past decade.

Property taxes can be a confusing topics.  A King County Assessor’s Office video helps explain how home assessment affects the property tax levy. Watch the video HERE.



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