Sunday, February 10, 2013

The tax man cometh

Madison Park's 2013 tax rate increases by 3.98%

King County will be mailing out the 2013 property-tax bills this week (expected arrival date: Valentine's Day), and Madison Parkers will on average see an increase in taxes relative to last year. Seattle's tax rate is going up from $10.17 per $1,000 of home value to $10.51. For the City as a whole, this uptick in the tax rate will be almost entirely offset by the fact that the median assessed value of Seattle homes fell year over year, from $359,000 in 2012 to $348,000 this year (a 3.1% decline). This means that although the City's tax rate will rise by 3.3%, the actual taxes paid on the median house will increase by only .2%.

Madison Park and the nearby neighborhoods of Madrona and Leschi, however, will experience a much larger increase in property taxes in 2013. As we previously reported, our section of the City this year saw a 0% increase in its "Standard Area Adjustment." While most Seattle neighborhoods recorded a decline---at least in the Assessor's opinion---Madison Park was one of those few places in the City where values held steady. The downside of that official determination is that we will be paying more of Seattle's total property tax bill than was the case last year.

For Assessment Area 14 (Madison Park, Madrona, and Leschi) the median value of a home increased from $806,000 to $811,000, slightly less than 1%. Even though the "Standard Area Adjustment" was only 0%, some properties in the Area were either improved or were replaced by higher-value structures. This was the reason for the increase in the Area's year-over-year median-property value (the point where 50% of the properties are worth less and 50% are worth more).

Here's the implication of all of this: Although the tax increase for Seattle this year is 3.3%, the tax on the median-value Madison Park home in 2013 will increase by 3.98%. In 2012 the median-value Madison Park home was taxed $8,197.02 and this year the property tax on the median-value home here will be $8,523.61.

Between us, Madison Park, Madrona and Leschi be paying 3.96% of the City's $112 billion property-tax bill in 2013 rather than the 3.95% we paid last year.

Lucky us.

[Thanks to the many responsive staff members of the King County Assessor's Office for providing the data and background necessary to produce this story.]

1 comment:

  1. Well, we can't be "lucky us" in that our homes sell for preposterously high prices just because of where they happen to sit on the ground, AND be "lucky us" that we pay more in property taxes.

    Which "lucky us" would we rather be?


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