My Real Estate Taxes Went Up When My Assessment Went Down?!

Why My Thurston County Real Estate Taxes Went Up When My Assessment Went Down?

 

In the mail, Thurston County residents recently received their real estate tax assessment for the upcoming year.  For many homeowners, their assessed value of their homes decreased yet they aren’t seeing a decrease in their property taxes.

Here’s why: 

Let’s say Thurston County’s property tax budget is $1,000 and that’s what they need to collect for 2011.  There are three homes in Thurston County and each are assessed at different amounts, and the county is collecting property taxes based off of the total budget.

Thurston County Property Taxes explained page 1


For 2012, Thurston County’s property tax budget increases by 1% to $1,010.  But property values have decreased.  Where there was $400 in assessed value in 2011, now there is only $357 in assessed value that the county can collect from, but the key to this is the county’s budget has increased.  The county is limited in how much it can raise taxes from year to year but additional increases can also be added, such as levies, which must be voter-approved.  It would be rare to see the budget decrease.   This is why your taxes may increase while your assessed value decreases is because the county budget increases.


Thurston County Property Taxes explained page 2





















Thurston County’s assessed value did go down 10.65%.  In order for homeowners in Thurston County to see a reduction in their property taxes for the coming year, they would have to see a decrease in their assessed value of over 10.65%.


Thurston County Property Taxes explained page 3





















How are homes assessed?

The assessed home value you see for the current year is not based on today’s current market value.  In fact, the assessor uses information 1-2 years old.  For instance, your property assessment for 2012 was determined on January 1, 2011.  That opinion on January 1, 2011 was compiled from comparable sales prices from 2010.  The sales that are happening today in 2012 will impact your assessed values in 2014.

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