Most Levies Close to 2013 Figures
By Bruce Walker
The assessor’s office will be closed from 8:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. from January 21to January 31 for training. From January 27 through February 7 both offices will be having online training and will go live with the new update February 3. Please have patience over the next few months as we learn this new system. As with all ‘updates’ it seems like a lot of the things that worked on the current version aren’t included, but ‘new and improved’ features are. And, as we are all aware, even though the new version of a computer update takes five steps, where it used to take two, this is an improvement (so the experts say). Every Terrascan (our appraisal software) county has or will convert to this new version. We postponed our conversion until the last possible time, so many of the bugs have been worked out by other counties saving Pacific County time and money.
It’s always been this office’s policy to have a live person answer the phone, so during this time if you don’t get us at first, please leave a message and someone will get back to you; if not, please contact me directly.
The 2014 levies have been calculated and the tax roll has been sent to the treasurer. Tax statements should be mailed the middle of February and the first half of 2014 taxes will be due April 30. Most of the levies were close to 2013 figures. The levy rates are calculated by dividing the levy amount approved by a taxing district by that district’s assessed value.
Most taxpayers won’t see much difference in this year’s taxes compared to last year.
Taxpayers in the Port Districts of Ilwaco and Peninsula, which takes in all of the Long Beach Peninsula, will see increases as both districts have voted in and are collecting $.45 per thousand of assessed value for port Industrial Development Districts. This is the Port of Peninsula’s first year of a six-year levy and the Port of Ilwaco’s first year of their second six-year levy after a break in 2013. This is the first year of the Ocosta School Bond so people in the Tokeland/Grayland area will see a $.85 per thousand levy. The Willapa Valley School bond amount increased by $138,000, but was partially offset by increased timber revenues and the rate increased $.42 per thousand. The Pe Ell school bond also increased $.29 per thousand.
As assessed values have fallen the levy rates have increased. Fire 1 EMS is limited by their statutory rate of $.50 per thousand for the third year in a row. Because of this limit, the EMS levy amount for 2014 is $108,881 less than in 2011. Several taxing districts are close to the $5.90 total allowed for regular taxing districts and might have to be pro rated next year.
The final levy rates and increases or decreases over the last 6 years in the amounts levied by the various districts can be found on our website under Levy Book 2014. I am hoping to have this done by the end of January.
If you have any questions about any of these or any other property tax issues, or see a correction needed on our Taxsifter or Mapsifter sites, please contact us at 875- 9301, 642-9301, 484-7301 or 267-8301. Our office hours are 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday at the courthouse and 9-12 Wednesday mornings at the Long Beach office at 7013 Sandridge Rd.