Island property valuations have gone up — way up

Vashon isn’t alone in seeing the increase in valuations — data from the Assessor’s Office indicates that home sale prices and overall home values have risen sharply in most King County neighborhoods and have dramatically spiked in northeast King County.

The King County Assessor’s office has begun the annual process of mailing property valuation notices to taxpayers, with notices already starting to arrive on Vashon.

If you haven’t received yours yet, brace yourself.

According to a report on Vashon’s annual revaluation prepared by appraisers in the Assessor’s Office and posted last Friday at tinyurl.com/7bm69fbz, the assessed values of about two-thirds of the homes on Vashon are up 29.14%, with the assessed values of the other one-third, classified as Grades 8 or 9, up 35.3%.

Grades 8 and 9 are considered above average in construction and design.

The assessed values of undeveloped residential properties valued at more than $10,000 are up 27%, and the assessed values of mobile homes are up 26%.

The new values, calculated effective Jan. 1, 2022, reflect how the market changed in the calendar year 2021, and will be used in calculating 2023 property taxes.

However, a 29% increase in assessed value does not mean a 29% increase in property taxes, because of statutory and voter-approved limits on how much governments can increase their property tax levies from year to year.

Vashon isn’t alone in seeing the increase in valuations — data from the Assessor’s Office indicates that home sale prices and overall home values have risen sharply in most King County neighborhoods and have dramatically spiked in northeast King County.

According to the Assessor’s office, average increases in home values top 40 percent in some Eastside neighborhoods. Values are up 52 percent year-over-year on the Sammamish Plateau. Annual increases are lower in Seattle, however — about 19 percent in Magnolia, Rainier Beach and Fauntleroy.

“Housing inventory for sale remains low, while demand remains very high,” said Assessor John Wilson. “The resulting increase in home values is inevitable in this type of market, and that trend is particularly strong on the Eastside. While voter-approved special levies typically have more impact on property tax increase than do increases in home values, these value increases are so dramatic they may result in noticeable increases in property taxes in Eastside communities.”

The total amount of property tax collected is derived from the budgets passed by state, county, and local governments, and by locally approved levies. The value of each property determines proportionally how much each taxpayer will pay of that total amount. When values rise dramatically in some areas, but not all, it can result in a shift, causing some taxpayers to pay more than others.

If you feel a mistake has been made in valuing your property, it is recommended to contact the Department of Assessments directly before filing an appeal at (206) 296-7300 or Assessor.Info@KingCounty.gov.

For more information on the appeal process, visit tinyurl.com/ms9fszut.