Annual Taxing District Levy Detail
By Tax Code Area
- 2022-2023 Levy Rates by Tax Area Report (simple) PDF
- 2021-2022 Levy Rates by Tax Area Report (simple) PDF
- 2020-2021 Levy Rates by Tax Area Report (simple) PDF
- 2019-2020 Levy Rates by Tax Area Report (simple) PDF
- 2018-2019 Levy Rates by Tax Area Report (simple) PDF
- 2017-2018 Levy Rates by Tax Area Report (simple) PDF
The responsibility for valuing property lying wholly within individual county boundaries lies with the county assessor. The responsibility for valuing intercounty, interstate, and foreign utility companies lies with the state Department of Revenue.
There are three common approaches used in valuing real property: the sales approach (comparable sales), the cost approach (replacement cost), and the income approach (capitalized income potential). One, two, or all three methods may be applied to a given parcel. The sales approach is used mainly for residences, the cost approach is used for manufacturing and similar special purpose facilities, and the income approach is used principally for commercial property including apartment houses. For tax purposes, property is assessed on its value on January 1 of the assessment year.
Washington State Constitutional Provisions. Article VI of the Washington State Constitution is entitled “Revenue and Taxation.” Section 1 of Article VI concerns the power to tax and provides that:
The power of taxation shall never be suspended, surrendered or contracted away. All taxes shall be uniform upon the same class of property within the territorial limits of the authority levying the tax and shall be levied and collected for public purposes only. The word “property” as used herein shall mean and include everything, whether tangible or intangible, subject to ownership.
Washington State Legislation. To implement the constitutional provisions listed above, the Legislature enacted a variety of statutes concerning levies, the bulk of which are contained in chapters 84.52 and 84.55 RCW.
The Department’s broad authority over the levy process is contained in RCW 84.08.010 and 84.08.060, respectively.
RCW 84.08.010 provides in pertinent part that “The department of revenue shall:
Revised Code of Washington. The Revised Code of Washington (RCW) is the compilation of all permanent laws now in force. The laws referencing property tax levies can be found in chapters 84.52 and 84.55 RCW.
Washington Administrative Code. Pursuant to this authority, the Department has adopted Washington Administrative Code (WAC) Rules 458-19-005 through 458-19-085 to aid assessors in making the necessary calculations under the various statutory sections.
Tax Base. Property taxes apply to the assessed value of all taxable property, which includes all real and personal property located within the state, unless specifically exempted. Real property includes land, structures, and certain equipment that is affixed to the structure; personal property includes machinery, supplies, certain utility property, and other items that are movable.
Tax Rate. Property tax rates are the annual levy rates applied to the assessed value of taxable property by the various taxing districts, including the state and various types of local jurisdictions that have levy authority under state law. Currently, there are 1,840 taxing districts throughout the state. Property tax levy rates are expressed in terms of dollars per one thousand of assessed value. A taxing district’s rate must apply uniformly throughout the district. However, because of the many overlapping jurisdictions, there are 3,153 tax code areas in which a particular combination of levy rates may apply.
Local. The property tax is levied and collected at the county level. The assessment function is the responsibility of the county assessor. In addition to determining the value of real and personal property for tax purposes, the assessor calculates and certifies levy rates for most taxing districts, assuring that the limits to the levy rates are not exceeded. The assessor compiles an assessment roll showing the assessed value of all taxable property and a tax roll indicating the amount of levies that are due from each owner. The assessor also processes applications for the Senior Citizen and Disabled Person Property Tax Exemption Program, Limited Income Deferral Program, Senior Citizen and Disabled Person Deferral Program, and the Current Use Program.
The county treasurer prepares the annual statement of taxes due and sends it to owners in mid-February. Owners must pay at least one-half of the tax byApril 30 and the remainder by October 31. The treasurer receives the payments and distributes the funds to the accounts of the appropriate taxing districts.
State. The Department of Revenue is also involved in the administration of property taxes in order to assure uniformity throughout the state. Major programs conducted at the state level include:
- Promulgating administrative rules and procedures
- Providing technical assistance and training
- Assisting with complex appraisals upon request of the assessor
- Developing manuals, forms, and maps
- Assessing intercounty, interstate, and foreign utility companies
- Conducting studies to determine the average level of assessment
- Calculating the state school levy rate
- Appraising commercial boats and maintaining valuation schedules for pleasure boats
- Updating the statutory forest land values annually
- Reviewing county revaluation plans and programs
- Determining nonprofit exemptions
Appeals. Property owners who disagree with the established amount of their assessed value may appeal to the county board of equalization. In the July session, the board reviews appeals and may order a reduction in valuation based on the facts presented by the owner and the assessor. Appeals may also be made to the State Board of Tax Appeals which, like the county board, decides only questions of property valuation—not levy rates or the amount of tax that is due.
State Levy. To the state general fund, earmarked for support of basic education.
Local Levies. To the account of the taxing district by the county treasurer. The funds are to be used for the purposes specified by the levy; e.g., the regular levy in most cases is used for general operation of the district, whereas the proceeds of special bond levies are applied to the annual principal and interest payments of the bonds.
- Tax Rate Calculations PDF
- Levy Manual PDF
- State School Levy Tip sheet PDF
- Significant Events in the history of Property in WA State PDF
- Property Tax Ratios by County
Forms and Worksheets:
- 64 0100 - Levy Certification PDF
- 64 0101 - Ordinance-Resolution DOC
- Ordinance-Resolution Guidance PDF
- 64 0007 - Highest Lawful Levy Calculation XLSX
- 64 0034 - Computation for School District XLS
- 64 0097 - Prorationing Worksheet for the $5.90 Aggregate Limit XLSX
- 64 0096 - Prorationing Worksheet for the 1 Percent Constitutional Limit XLSX