The values of over 300,000 parcels of property throughout Pierce County have been determined and mailed or emailed this week to the property owners. These 2019 values will be used as the basis for property taxes to be billed in February 2020.
“Residential property continues to increase in value, although the rate of increase has slowed compared to last year,” said Mike Lonergan, Pierce County assessor-treasurer. Overall, residential properties went up 7.5 percent this year, compared to 11.8 percent in 2018.
Countywide averages can be misleading, because values increase at varying rates in different communities. “The increase in Tacoma was among the highest at 9.5 percent, bringing the typical residence to $321,000,” Lonergan explained. “By contrast Dupont’s increase was only 4.5 percent, however their average value remains higher at $334,000.”
The highest average value in the county is $482,000 in Gig Harbor, while the least expensive homes are found in more remote locations such as Wilkeson and South Prairie, averaging $207,000 to $210,000.
Lonergan cautioned homeowners not to jump to the conclusion that an increase in value will result in a tax increase. “It’s a math equation,” he said. “Your tax in 2020 will be the 2019 value multiplied by the combined tax rates of your school district, city, fire district and so forth, added to the state and countywide property taxes that everyone pays. A lot depends on votes by the public and the Legislature.”
He added that any owner who believes the assessor-treasurer has over-valued their property may appeal to the Pierce County Board of Equalization at no cost. The appeal must be filed no later than Sept. 10, providing evidence that comparable properties have sold recently at a lower amount. More information is available at www.piercecountywa.gov/atr.
Mike Lonergan, Pierce County Assessor-Treasurer