The new assessments are in the mail
Madison Park homeowners, along with their counterparts in Madrona and Leschi, should be receiving a notice from the King County Assessor's office in the next day or so. It's one of those good news/bad news situations, however. Some property owners may be gratified to see that the upward trend in house values is validated by a higher tax assessment on their home. The 12.1% increase for this part of town ("Area 14" on the Assessor's map) is not the biggest increase in the City, but it's big enough. And as assessments increase, there's always that nagging feeling that an increase in the tax bill must be on the horizon.
That's not necessarily the case, however. Or perhaps a better way of describing the situation is to say that there's not a 1:1 correlation between the assessment increase on a home and the resulting property tax increase on that property. The tax rate, as we've discussed here many times, is a product of other factors (principally tax levies and the independent budget actions of city, county and local service districts, such as library districts). Nevertheless, having an increase in a tax assessment probably is a mixed blessing at best.
In 2013 the average home in our area was assessed at $986,200. With the 2014 increase, that average tax value is now $1,105,600. This does not include the 574 properties that were significantly "improved" during the last year. The increase for those properties is necessarily higher than the standard 12.1% applied to non-improved homes.
Anyway, here's what you should be looking for in your mail in the next few days:
And if you'd like to appeal, here's where to start: King County eAppeals. You've got 60 days to appeal from the date you receive the notice.
[Photo, lifted from Curbed Seattle, of a home in Madrona.]