While each property owner’s bill will vary based on assessed value, you can expect your bill to go up by an average of 14.1 percent this year. There are number of factors that account for this. The reasons include a voter-approved Levy for the Edmonds School District, a 1 percent increase in the amount levied by the City of Mountlake Terrace and property values increasing in Mountlake Terrace faster than other parts of the county.
Tax amounts for the entire county are figured in fixed dollar amounts. Those amounts are then divided proportionately to the property owners as a percentage of the total value of all property owners combined.
For example if you own 1 percent of all property in the county and the total taxes were $1 million your share would be 1 percent of the $1 million or $10,000. If the value of your property goes up by 10 percent and everyone else’s stays the same then you will now owe 1.1 percent of the total taxes or $11,000.
If, in addition to your share going up in value by more than everyone else’s as stated above, plus, the total taxes to be collected from everyone went up by 5 percent, then in the example above your share of the property taxes now would increase to $11,550. Obviously those numbers are simplified as an example of how the formulas work. In actuality the property you own is a much smaller percentage of the whole and the total taxes are much more
For Mountlake Terrace residents several of these factors come into play, first as stated two paragraphs above the taxes to be collected on the whole are higher in Mountlake Terrace than in the past. Secondly property values generally have increased in Mountlake Terrace at a higher rate than in the county overall. Also, several million dollars worth of property both in the Marysville area and in the Oso area have come off the tax rolls as a result of court rulings and the disaster in Oso. As other property comes off the tax rolls your percentage of the total increases.
While each piece of property is evaluated individually, in general, property taxes for Mountlake Terrace residents are rising by 14.4 percent this year. This is the third largest increase of any of the cities in Snohomish County. An average for the entire county is an increase of 9.8 percent.
So be prepared to pay a little bit more at the end of April than in 2014.
– By Harry Gatjens