Assessor - Treasurer

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2022 Sees Moderate Increases in Property Taxes


While real estate values have surged in Pierce County, statutory limits on property tax rates are holding tax increases to modest levels this year.  “In recent years, tax bills fluctuated due to the State Legislature and local school districts responding to the McCleary court decision on school funding,” Assessor-Treasurer Mike Lonergan explained.  “Last year taxes settled down in most areas, and this year we see moderate increases in most parts of Pierce County, even a decrease in one area.” 


Property tax statements for 2022 are being mailed the week of February 14, 2022, to over 180,000 owners of residential and commercial land and buildings in Pierce County.   For homes where the tax is paid through an escrow account, the statement is sent to the bank or mortgage company.


Countywide, property taxes billed this year total $1.76 billion, a 5.3% increase over 2021.  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.  Fees for conservation, noxious weed control and surface water are also included on the property tax statement.  


The state and local portions for schools add up to 60.2% of all property taxes in Pierce County.  The cities and county, including the road district, add up to 20.5% and fire and EMS districts equal 10.9.%.  Together, these make up over 90% of Pierce County’s property tax.


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 the taxes resulting from new construction.


No new local school levies or bonds were approved by the voters last year (2021) and school levies approved at the polls this week will take effect beginning next year (2023).  Voters in five fire districts, East Pierce, Steilacoom, Key Peninsula, Ashford and Crystal Mountain, approved multi-year levy lid lifts or renewed EMS levies, resulting in small tax increases this year.


Combined property taxes rose the most this year in the Bethel and Franklin Pierce school districts, with the cost to the average homeowner increasing by 11%, or more than $450.  The smallest tax increases were just over $100 for average-valued houses in Steilacoom, Milton and Buckley.


Tacoma, Puyallup, Edgewood and Eatonville tax bills went up by around $300 for the average home, while homes in Lakewood and Sumner increased about $250.  Gig Harbor, Fife and DuPont were up around $200 per home.


Residents of the Orting School District fared best this year, with taxes on the average home reduced by $575, due to decreases in a school construction bond and fire district tax rates.  However, a portion of these tax savings are replaced by a new Fire Benefit Charge which is calculated differently than taxes.


Property owners may view their tax statement here at the Assessor-Treasurer’s website, by clicking on the “Property Tax & Value Search button above and entering either their tax parcel number or their street address.  Payment is due in two halves, by May 2 and October 31, 2022.


The service counter at the Pierce County Annex is now open 8:30 am-4:30 pm Mon-Fri to receive payments and issue receipts, after the easing of COVID-19 restrictions.  Taxpayers with questions may also contact the Assessor-Treasurer staff by computer chat on this website or by calling (253) 798-6111.

Appraisers Visit Every Property in Pierce County to Keep Taxable Values Fair and Equitable
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Once every six years, an appraiser from the Pierce County Assessor-Treasurer’s office is required by State Law to inspect every parcel of real estate in the county. It’s no small job, because there are over 325,000 parcels and only 30 appraisers. Their goal is to confirm our records, note any changes in condition of buildings, views, etc. and take a current exterior photo. 


This year our residential appraisers are visiting every home in the far south and east portions of the county, including Roy, McKenna, Alder, Elbe, Ashford, Eatonville, Orting, Carbonado, Wilkeson, South Prairie and Buckley. If they have a question, they may knock on your door or leave a card requesting a call. 


Our commercial appraisers work in all parts of the county every year, visiting one-sixth of the business properties in each part of the county annually. During June, July and August, all residential and commercial appraisers will shift their focus to inspecting all new construction and additions to buildings throughout the county. 


Wherever they go, our appraisers are driving white cars with Pierce County markings and they are wearing identifiable clothing and official ID badges. They gather property information and take photos using digital tablets, and may use laser measuring devices to confirm building dimensions. Since their car is their “office,” you may see them parked in your neighborhood while making data entries. 


The information collected by our appraisers is used to assure that the value of every property is correct when we calculate each property owner’s fair share of taxes for schools, fire districts, cities, roads, parks, libraries and other government services. If you have a question or concern about our work, you will find lots of valuable information on this website, or you may call the Assessor-Treasurer’s office at 253-798-6111.


Mike Lonergan

Pierce County Assessor-Treasurer

Mike_Lonergan_

 Mike Lonergan

Pierce County Assessor Treasurer
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Contact Information
Ph: (253) 798-6111
Fx: (253) 798-3142
Contact Us

Hours of Operation
Monday - Friday
8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Location
2401 S. 35th St.
Room 142
Tacoma, WA 98409
Directions

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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 $1.4 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

Sincerely,
Mike Lonergan