Assessor - Treasurer
2024 Sees Moderate Increases in Property Taxes
Property tax statements have been mailed to 175,000 owners of residential and commercial land and buildings in Pierce County. For homes where the tax is paid through a mortgage escrow account, the statement goes to the bank or mortgage company. The 2024 statements are also posted here on the Assessor-Treasurer’s website, by clicking on the Property Tax & Value Search button.
Pierce County real estate values stayed close to level compared to the previous year, and the average property tax rate increased to $10.10 per thousand dollars value, which is 37 cents over 2023’s level. These tax rates vary depending where you live, from $7.33 in Carbonado to $11.45 in University Place.
The annual tax is determined by multiplying property value (in thousands of dollars) by the combined rate of all taxing districts where the property is located. Unless there is a vote of the people, most taxing districts are limited to receiving 101% of last year’s property tax revenue, plus any taxes resulting from new construction in their area.
“The significant tax increases are in areas where voters approved new levies,” Assessor-Treasurer Mike Lonergan explained. “This year, we see moderate tax increases in the Gig Harbor Peninsula, Fircrest and Key Peninsula. The largest decrease in average taxes was 10 percent in Fife due to the end of a school bond, followed by smaller reductions in Spanaway, Eatonville, Puyallup, South Hill and Steilacoom.”
Countywide, property taxes billed this year total nearly $1.93 billion, a 3.9% increase over 2023. In addition to schools, property taxes pay for city and county government, fire districts, emergency medical service, parks, libraries, roads, Port of Tacoma, Sound Transit and flood control. Additional fees are also included on the property tax statement for conservation, noxious weed control and surface water.
The state and local levies for schools make up 58% of all property taxes in Pierce County. The cities and county (including the road district) add up to 19.8%, and fire/EMS districts equal 12.5.%. Together, these account for over 90% of Pierce County’s property tax.
New school levies were approved by the voters last year in the Peninsula and Steilacoom districts, and voters in four cities and six fire districts approved levies or lid lifts. Overall, the average residential 2024 tax bill Countywide is $5,579, a 5.1% increase over last year.
A significant change in 2024 is that homeowners over age 61, and those who are fully disabled at any age, may qualify for a significant property tax reduction if their household gross income is under $64,000. The previous income limit in Pierce County was $45,708. Lonergan said, “This is a big increase in allowable income, and it will allow thousands more taxpayers to qualify for a partial tax exemption.” Application information and a link to the fillable application form are found elsewhere on this website.
Tax payments are due in two halves, by April 30 and October 31, 2024. The service counter at the Pierce County Annex, 2401 S 35th in Tacoma, is open 8:30 am-4:30 pm Monday-Friday to receive payments and issue receipts. Taxpayers with questions may also contact the Assessor-Treasurer staff by computer chat on this website, or by calling (253) 798-6111.
Household Income Limits Increasing for 2024 Property Tax Exemptions
The State Legislature has greatly increased the income threshold for Senior and Disabled property tax exemptions, beginning with the 2024 tax year.
In Pierce County, the maximum household income limit will increase considerably to $64,000 per year (based on 2023 income). Those with incomes under $55,000 and $46,000 will see even greater property tax reductions. You must apply to the Pierce County Assessor-Treasurer, supplying all required information, to begin receiving this tax reduction.
Since all senior or disabled taxpayers currently receiving an exemption have reported an income under $46,000, they will automatically be moved to the lowest income tier, qualifying them for the maximum exemption allowed by law.
“These new limits will allow thousands more homeowners who are either over age 61, or fully disabled at any age, to qualify for significant reductions in taxes on their primary residence,” said Mike Lonergan, Pierce County Assessor-Treasurer.
Applications should be submitted online using a fillable form with scanned attachments. You can apply as soon as you’ve received proof of your 2023 total income. Proof includes year-end statement s and 1099s) for all forms of income, and your 2023 Federal income tax return, if filed. When you are ready to apply, click on this link: 2024 Senior/Disabled Exemption Application.
Residential Property Values Drop Three Percent
The latest assessed values for residential and commercial properties throughout Pierce County have been mailed to taxpayers and posted on this website, for lookup either by address or parcel number.
“Home values in all parts of our County have leveled off from the high-water mark of last year, and in most cases decreased slightly,” said Mike Lonergan, Pierce County Assessor-Treasurer. Countywide, the average single-family home decreased in value by 3.1 percent this year, dropping from $572,100 to $554,500.
Lonergan cautioned homeowners not to conclude that a decrease in value will result in much more than a minor tax decrease next year. That’s because state law allows each taxing district to increase their property tax revenue by one percent annually without a vote of the people. Instead, values are used to determine each property owner’s fair share of total taxes collected.
“Your property tax in 2024 will be the new 2023 value multiplied by the combined tax rates of your school district, city, fire district and other local districts, plus the statewide school levy that everyone pays,” Lonergan explained. “So a lot depends on public votes such as levy lid lifts and bond issues.”
The change in property value varies in different communities, based on actual sales of similar properties. 70 percent are down, and 30 percent stayed the same or inched up. “The largest drops in value are around five percent in Tacoma, Ruston, Spanaway, Eatonville and Roy,” said Lonergan. Milton had the largest value increase at three percent.
Most commercial properties showed moderate value increases over last year, with retail and office space up around five percent, while motels and warehouses increased ten percent. All value changes represent the period from January 2022 to January 2023 and will be used to calculate 2024 taxes.
This year County appraisers visited nearly every house in Tacoma, while values in other areas were based on sales of similar homes. During the summer months they are inspecting all new construction in Pierce County and adding its value to the tax rolls.
Any property owner who believes the Assessor-Treasurer has over-valued their property may appeal to the Pierce County Board of Equalization at no cost. The appeal must be filed no later than August 22, 2023, providing evidence that comparable properties have sold recently at a lower amount.
Pierce County Assessor Treasurer
Welcome to the Assessor-Treasurer's Website
Here you’ll find a wealth of information about each of the 330,000 properties in Pierce County, by clicking on our popular Parcel Search. You’ll also get answers to frequently asked questions about your property taxes—how values and rates are determined, where the funds collected (about $1.9 billion per year) are used, and how to go about seeking exemptions, deferrals and appeals. You can even pay your taxes online!
As your Pierce County Assessor-Treasurer, I am honored to lead a team of 77 people dedicated to serving you with respect and earning your trust. While almost no one enjoys paying taxes, we all understand that schools, roads, libraries, parks and public safety need our support. Our pledge to you is that we will make every effort to see that you are taxed fairly and correctly, and if we do make a mistake, we’ll fix it.
On behalf of over 75 taxing districts in Pierce County which are served by the Assessor-Treasurer’s office, thank you for making these public services possible by your property tax support. If you have questions or concerns that are not addressed on this website—or an idea to improve our service to you, please contact us.