Lynnwood property tax proposal calls for 22% increase in 2024

Members of the Lynnwood City Council discuss raising property taxes in 2024.

A proposal to increase City of Lynnwood 2024 property taxes by 22.3% drew concerns from councilmembers and the public during the city council’s Monday, Nov. 20 meeting.

Lynnwood Finance Director Michelle Meyer gave the board a brief overview of the levy, although she said most should already be familiar with it as the council voted on the matter in 2022 when the 2023-24 biennial budget was approved.

The $5.5 million proposed levy would increase property tax rates by roughly 22.3%. If approved by council, Meyer said that annual tax rate will increase to roughly $338, slightly less than $5 more a month. 

“Right now, the average homeowner pays about $280 to the City of Lynnwood,” Meyer said, based on a home appraised at around $643,000 — Lynnwood’s current average home value.

The proposed 2023-24 biennial budget called for the property tax rate to increase from $4.5 million to $5 million in 2023, but councilmembers voted last November not to increase the rates, stating they felt the citizens needed a tax break.

The city’s approved biennial budget was based on the expectation that property taxes would continue to increase by $500,000 each year. Now, the proposed levy for 2024 would increase those taxes by $1 million starting in 2024 since they remained the same in 2023 — a startling jump that some councilmembers voiced concerns about.

“To say that we’re going to increase property taxes by 22% is really a stunner,” Councilmember George Hurst said. “I understand that we have inflation and it impacts not only residents, but it impacts the city. I can foresee some kind of increase, but a 22% increase is a lot.”

While no public comments were shared in favor of the increase, Glenn Bowers voiced specific concerns regarding how some city tax dollars have been used in the past few years. Bowers cited two instances since 2020 that have resulted in the loss of roughly $2.2 million in tax dollars due to the city’s negligence — a lawsuit following a death in the jail and a fine by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency because the city’s wastewater facility violated treatment standards.

“It doesn’t feel right to me to be asked to pay more when it doesn’t seem like the city is doing well with the money that we’ve already trusted you with,” he said.

Bowers said he’s worried that such negligence, combined with the rapidly increasing inflation, will force many Lynnwood residents to leave the area because they cannot afford the rising taxes along with the prices of food and other necessities.

The city council is expected to vote on the 2024 property tax levy increase at its Monday, Nov. 27 business meeting.

–By Lauren Reichenbach

  1. Taxing people out of their homes. We’re elderly and can’t hardly meet ends because of inflation now you want to raise more tax for struggling families already . Not right. Manage your money like we have to and go without what you don’t really need like we have to

    1. Let’s be real for a second there was no increase last year and over all we are talking a little over 1 percent increase in total payments

  2. A 22% hike will only increase the food bank lines!

    Several years back I heard the city had 200 vehicles, would it be a cost saving to have employees use their own cars as many businesses do?

    Pat C.

    1. Those vehicles include all fire, police, safety, park and maintenance vehicles. I doubt there are any personal use vehicles at all.

    2. 22 percent is lynnwoods portion which is only 6 percent of what you pay. This means over all its a little bit over a 1 percent increase

  3. Context would be useful. I pay vast quantities of property tax. My statement breaks out the various agencies and amounts that my tax is going to:
    PUB HOSP #2

    Regrettably, the percentages of the total tax are not broken out, but that’s easily computable. In my case, for example, City of Lynnwood gets 5.838% of my total property tax. A 22% increase in that would be about a 1.284% increase in my total property tax. That’s about 100 dollars a year. Your mileage may vary.

  4. The City of Lynnwood should be forced to look within – first! No new hires, no land purchases, no raises, no unnecessary travel – soooo many ways for Lynnwood to cut back. Yet taking from AARP funds, raising taxes, utilities, raises for City employees, etc., are their go-to SOP (Standard Operating Procedure). This has got to end…

    1. Slash and burn of jobs means fewer services for residents. Just a fact. When Inlived in California that was the policy in our town and we suffered for years until we pitched out the council and put on our big boy pants and paid for what we wanted in our town.

  5. When we the people elect folks who have a little fiscal sense or responsibility this is what we get. Just look at the last election results and you’ll see that the conservatives were not reelected.. at least we still have George Hurst.

    1. Find me a “fiscally responsible “ person who has any grasp of management beyond cutting spending.
      The city manager may be the problem here because they are to give guidance to the council as to what the city needs and options as to how to achieve those goals. Mindless cuts is mindless management.

  6. Why doesn’t the city and state collect property taxes on all. Examples Pathways for Women, Douglas Apartments on 208th St SW no taxes collected. But the benefit of going to schools that somebody else is paying for. So people are footing the bills for everybody. Does the city/state/county think everybody has a money tree in the back yard?
    Who’s helping out the people that pay their fair share?

  7. Looking at Zillow home offerings in Lynnwood today, the first four pages on single family residences that are not a condo, there were three priced below the article’s stated average. The first 19 homes listed ranged from $500,000 to $1,790,000, averaging $919,318. Let’s be more realistic when we look at the real impact of a 23% increase would be to the majority of home owners in our community. And, let’s consider the state, the school district, the power company, and every other government agency is also greatly increasing their rates for the home owner. Our city sales tax is the highest in the state. Now consider the amount of wage increase most people experience….rarely cost of living, and most certainly not a whopping 22%. Using the figures in the article an average $919,000 would see a bill of $400. One of the reasons we do not see affordable housing is directly due to the governmental costs of building and owning a home. It is time to prioritize what are essential services city government should take on and what are services best left for the private sector, charitable organizations and the responsibility of the private citizen to take care of. The city should prioritize programs that protect its citizens (fire, police, road maintenance) above all else and then critically look at the other services as to their need and scale the budget accordingly. Shame on you all for even suggesting such a hike!

  8. The reason the hike is so high is because the council didn’t hike it last year. This is a perfect example of trying to curry favor with voters by not going forward with an agreed upon policy.
    People talking about moving because of a $60 rise in the year for property taxes is nonsense. More money is wasted in most households in throwing out food that has gone bad because people overbuy.
    If one was to move where does one go? You can find a place with cheaper housing and lower taxes but that is because those places have few services and fewer jobs.
    The Puget Sound region is expensive because of demand. People want to live here and workers need to pay for their homes. That is just a fact of living where everyone wants to live.

  9. Another prime example of paying no taxes. The HASCO wants to take over 2 building on 200th St SW and re do them into more units for affordable housing. NOVA on 52nd is the latest. Thats fine but they do not pay taxes to the city. Schools nope. Maybe it’s like Edmonds did get a new mayor and city council members that will work for the people of Lynnwood.

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