Property Tax

WA Communities In Crisis
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Communities In Crisis Infographic

Counties are responsible for law enforcement, criminal justice, and public safety services. But, for the last decade, Washington counties have faced a 1% cap on the annual revenue increases they can receive.

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Property tax info picture

Get the Information Sheet

Download and print more information regarding the 1% property tax cap as provided by the Washington State Association of Counties. This informational document goes into more depth on the issue and what it means for counties.

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Interactive County & City Graph

Washington State Association of Counties has created an interactive map that allows you to see how property taxes would affect individual counties within Washington State.

Interactive Graph

Counties are Being Left Behind

The State reliance on Sales & Use tax, and other revenue streams, is
resulting in economic recovery for the state while counties are left behind.

For comparison the State of Washington:

  • Receives revenue from 36 separate taxes
  • Relies on property tax for ~10% of its General Fund revenue
  • Generates revenue through the Retail Sales & Use Tax, which grows annually at an average rate of approximately 6%
General Fund chart of income sources

Impacts

Counties across the state have experienced:

  • Reduction in the number of deputies on the road
  • Cuts to law enforcement training
  • Delayed public safety response times & justice proceedings
  • Caps on inmates booked into county jails
  • Overcrowding in jails
  • Increased diversion from road funds for law enforcement
  • Dangerous road and bridge conditions

A New Approach is Needed

Lawmakers need to replace the 1% property tax cap with a cap to a factor of inflation plus the rate of population growth – the actual factors that drive county costs. Locally accountable officials will then be able to publicly decide whether or not to utilize the new cap.

In the Media

Newspaper

Cowlitz County: House bill could allow counties to factor inflation, population into property taxes. The Daily News

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King County: State House bill would stop the bleeding in king county budget. Seattle Weekly

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Pierce County: Could proposed schools fix help kill state’s 1% property tax cap? Counties hope so. The News Tribune

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Snohomish County: Legislature Considers Property Tax Increase to Fund Schools The Everett Herald

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Snohomish County: Bipartisan alliance of lawmakers wants to remove cap on property tax increases. The Bothell Reporter

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Thurston County: Could proposed schools fix help kill state’s 1 percent property tax cap? Counties hope so. The Olympian

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Editorial Boards

Snohomish County: 1 percent property tax is starving counties. The Everett Herald
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Spokane County: Lift cap to maintain vital services. The Spokesman-Review

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Thurston County: Counties, Cities need leeway on property taxes. The Olympian

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Regional

Northwest:  State Lawmakers consider changing property tax cap. My Northwest.com

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Eastern Washington:  Eyman tax cap now has some big supporters seeking relief. Crosscut

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Opinions

Spokane County: Knezovich: State budget puts public safety at risk.

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Radio

Spokane County: Local Governments Turn to Washington Legislature for Tax Help. KREM 2 Spokane

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Video & Television

Spokane County:  1% property tax cap could be repealed. KREM 2 Spokane

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