Snoqualmie to hold public hearing on potential property tax levy increase, November 12th

The City of Snoqualmie will hold a public hearing on Tuesday November 12, 2019 on the topic of its property tax levy.

By law city councils must approve an ordinance estimating the “amounts to be raised by taxation on the assessed valuation of property within the City” and file the ordinance with the King County clerk by the end of November.

So each November cities hold public hearings to get public feedback on the amount they will collect for their portion of property tax bills in the coming year.

Taxing districts by law can only increase their annual budgets by 1% of the previous year’s amount collected. To go above 1% requires a levy lid lift approved by voters.

North Bend held its public hearing on the property tax levy topic on November 5th. The city’s 2020 budget assumes not taking the 1% tax increase, but the North Bend council will make the final decision at its November 19th meeting. The city does not typically take the increase as it has more sales tax revenue than neighboring Snoqualmie.

Snoqualmie’s proposed $85 million 2020 budget includes the allowed 1% increase, plus previously banked levy funds, for a total increase of 1.11% – which equates to an additional $89,478 in city operating revenue.

According to the November 12th city council agenda, city staff recommend taking the 1.11% increase. The agenda staff report states:

“The City of Snoqualmie uses the amount of regular property tax collected to fund important services such as Police, Fire, and Parks maintenance in addition to other necessities. Given the inclusion of the 1% levy increase in the development of the 2019-2020 biennial budget, the cost-of-living
adjustments included in both the Teamsters, International Association of Firefighters (IAFF), and Snoqualmie Police Association (SPA) collective bargaining agreements (CBAs), general inflation, and the risk of state shared revenue diversion, the exercise of the 1.11% levy increase is pru
dent.”

Last year – for the first time in about two decades – the Snoqualmie City Council didn’t take the full 1% increase, instead opting for a 1/2% increase.

This year’s proposed 1.11% increase equals about 2.5 cents for every $1000 of assessed value. For a home valued at $600,000 the annual increase would be about $15.

The City of Snoqualmie total tax rate for 2020 would then be $2.40 for every $1000 of assessed value. In 2019 the city’s total tax rate was $2.39/$1000 of assessed value.

Proposed 1.11% Property Tax Levy increase impact (annual)

Community members wishing to comment on Snoqualmie’s 2020 property tax levy can do so on November 12th at 7PM at City Hall Council Chambers.

The council is expected to discuss the potential property tax increase during Tuesday’s meeting, with action anticipated at the November 25th meeting.

Snoqualmie home taxing district breakdown for 2019

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