Wed, Feb 20, 2019
Home Town Debate
Willapa Harbor Herald • Town Crier
Traveler's Companion
(360) 942-3466 • PO Box 706, Raymond, WA 98577

Taxes go up in 2018

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The 2018 tax statements 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 for 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 thousand. 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 further information on the new Part 2 levy may be found on the back of your tax statement.

After holding public meetings in the fall, most 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 District 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 seen 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 RFA's in Pacific County.

The year 2017 saw an increase in both the number of sales and sales prices. For the year, there were 1006 qualified sales (willing buyer willing seller). Seven hundred and sixty-five sold at or over the assessed value, and 241 sold for less than the assessed value. In 2016, those number were 882 total, 653 sold for more and 229 for less. South county saw a larger increase in sales than north county. One south county realtor recently told me that they had sold more high end properties, over $300,000, in 2017 than they ever had before.

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 January 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.

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