From the Finance Director: Decoding your property tax statement

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By now, property owners have received their 2018 Property Tax Statements and most likely were a little surprised by the increase from the previous year. Your property tax amount is determined by the County Assessor’s Office and is based on the assessed value of your property, taxing district budgets, and statutory limits.

The following chart shows each taxing district’s rate change from 2017 to 2018 that City of Lynnwood residents property tax dollars support.

Property Tax Levy Rates Within Lynnwood (per $1,000 of Assessed Value)

Lynnwood Tax Code Area Rates 2017 2018
County Regular 0.843 0.758
County Conservation Futures 0.035 0.032
City of Lynnwood 1.727 0.573
Lynnwood EMS 0.405 0.374
Hospital Dist 2 0.084 0.075
Sno-Isle Library 0.415 0.379
South County Regional Fire* 1.500
Regional Transit Authority 0.250 0.227
School Bonds 1.869 1.879
School Capital Projects 0.558 0.496
School M&O 2.354 2.383
State School 1 2.027 1.843
State School 2 (McCleary) * 1.005
Sum of regular and excess levy rate 10.571 11.529

(*New in 2018)

In August 2017, voters in Lynnwood and Fire District 1 approved the creation of a Regional Fire Authority (RFA), funded by a new $1.50 per $1,000 of assessed property tax fire levy. The new entity, now known as South Snohomish County Fire and Rescue (South County Fire), is responsible for fire and emergency medical service (EMS) in the areas previously served by Fire District 1 and the City of Lynnwood Fire Department. Without the RFA, Lynnwood was facing significant cost increases for fire suppression, fire prevention, and Emergency Medical Services (EMS).

After voters approved the RFA, the Lynnwood City Council reduced the City’s 2018 regular property tax levy by the net amount saved from no longer funding fire and EMS services. The City’s tax levy rate went from $1.72 per $1,000 of assessed value, down to $0.57 per $1,000. In other terms, Lynnwood reduced our property tax collection by $6.2 million. To the average homeowner, that was a $320 reduction.

Another major contributing factor to your property tax increase was the passing of a new State property tax by the Washington State Legislature in response to the Supreme Court’s McCleary decision, listed as State School 2 on the chart. (For more information on that, see the County Assessor’s 2018 Property Tax Information Press Release https://snohomishcountywa.gov/documentcenter/view/49126)

Additionally, home values in Lynnwood increased 14.1 percent. You’ll see that your property tax dollars fund a variety of different services in our community. The portion of your property tax bill that goes to the City of Lynnwood helps fund city services such as police, roads, parks and recreation, to name a few.

Snohomish County does offer some exemptions for seniors and disabled persons. Contact the Assessor’s Office at 425-388-3433 or visit www.snohomishcountywa.gov/2934/assessor for more information.

–By Sonja Springer
City of Lynnwood Finance Director

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