Tax statements for 2018 will be mailed the second week in February.

As I stated in my last article, most taxpayers will see an increase in their 2018 taxes due to the state Legislature’s funding mechanism for K-12 education (mine went up $200). This funding is a result of the order handed down by the State Supreme Court in the McCleary case.

The new state levy (part 2) for Pacific County is $1.03 per $1,000 in assessed valuation. That amount added on top of the existing part 1 state levy of $1.89 makes a total of $2.92 for the state school levy. Seniors currently exempt from excess levies are also exempt from the new Part 2 state levy.

Links to additional information on the new Part 2 levy may be found on the back of your tax statement.

In 2017 there was a 14 percent increase in the number of sales, with 76 percent of those properties selling at or above their assessed value.

For the year, there were 1,006 “qualified sales,” which consist of a willing buyer conveying to a willing seller. Of these, 765 sold at or over the assessed value, and 241 sold for less than assessed value. In 2016, 882 properties sold, of which 653 realized their assessed value or more, while 229 sold for less.

South County saw a larger increase in sales than North County. One South County real estate agent recently told me that they had sold more high-end properties — over $300,000 — in 2017 than they ever had before.

After holding public meetings in the fall, most local taxing districts levied the maximum amounts allowed by law.

Fire districts 3, 4, 6, 7 and 8 all levied less than their maximum amounts and have some banked capacity to use in the future.

All regular taxing districts are limited by law to a maximum increase of 1 percent of their previous year’s levy plus any new construction and utility amounts. Taxes do not automatically increase yearly but have to be voted on by the districts’ boards and commissions for any increase.

The combined tax rates in Pacific County range from $8.16 in the North River tax code area to $17.27 in the Raymond tax code area where I live. The combined tax code area rates for each district, along with the individual taxing districts amounts, and increases or decreases by districts over the last few years can be found on the county’s webpage under 2018 Levy Book.

Fire 5 in the Tokeland Grayland area no longer exists and is now part of the South Beach Regional Fire Authority. The Authority consists of the City of Westport, Fire District 5 in Pacific County and three fire districts in Grays Harbor County. Regional Fire Authorities are being created across the state as a way to save money, eliminate duplicate equipment and facilities and increase services over a large area by combining a city with one or more rural fire districts. Personally, I’d like to see more RFAs in Pacific County.

The State of Washington offers a property tax exemption for seniors. To qualify for a 2018 exemption a person must have been 61 years old and living in the house as of Jan. 1, 2018 and make less than $40,000 gross income. If you think you might qualify contact our office at one of the numbers below.

If you have any questions about this article or any other property tax issues, or see a correction needed on our Taxsifter or Mapsifter websites, please contact us at 875- 9301, 642-9301, 484-7301 or 267-8301.

Recommended for you

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.