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Issaquah and Sammamish Property Taxes Barely Budge in 2013

The county assessor has attributed the increase to voter-approved measures in various towns and jurisdictions.

Many King County homeowners can expect to receive a higher property tax bill in the mail later this month, but the average Issaquah or Sammamish resident will pay about the same as in 2012, according to the King County Assessor's Office.

Overall, 2013 property tax rates are up 3.35 percent even though total home values have dropped by 1.48 percent, according to a news release from the county tax assessor's office.

Are you expecting a jump in your property-tax bill this year? Tell us in the comments section.

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 both Issaquah and Sammamish, the median assessed value of homes and taxes in 2013 were essentially flat. In Sammamish, assessed values fell 0.6 percent from $486,000 for the 2012 tax roll to $483,000 for the 2013 tax roll, while the tax rate in the city barely increased, up by 0.5 percent. The median tax bill dropped to $6,124 — that's $8.88 less than last year.

Issaquah's home values barely rose by 0.2 percent from $420,000 in 2012 up to $421,000 in 2013, and the tax rate rose 0.6 percent. The property tax bill is estimated at $4,913 for the median home — or $41.07 more than the year prior.

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.

In 2012, voters in the Issaquah School District approved a new 20-year Capital Improvement Bond, but the tax rate for the bond was significantly lower than the previous improvement bond it replaced and is reflected in the 2013 tax rates. The biggest increases in the tax rate came from the state school levy, and two voter-approved levies for capital improvements, maintenance and operations, which held the tax rate roughly even with 2012 levels.

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 the 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.

Jeanne Gustafson February 14, 2013 at 04:10 PM
FYI: The Sammamish City Council has passed several times in recent years on an allowed local annual property tax levy increase of 1 percent.

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