The latest assessed values for residential and commercial properties throughout Pierce County are in the mail to taxpayers and posted here on the Assessor-Treasurer’s website.
“Home values in all parts of our County continue to increase dramatically, typically by around $60,000 each in the past year,” said Mike Lonergan, Pierce County Assessor-Treasurer. Overall, residential properties went up 16 percent this year, compared to nine percent in 2020, due to a red-hot real estate market.
Lonergan cautioned homeowners not to jump to the conclusion that an increase in value will result in a tax increase, “It’s a math equation, and when values are rising, the legal limits on each taxing district tend to bring their tax rates down.”
He explained, “Your property tax in 2022 will be the new 2021 value multiplied by the combined tax rates of your school district, city, fire district and so forth, added to the statewide school levy that everyone pays. A lot depends on public votes in local districts, such as levy lid lifts and bond issues.”
While values Countywide are all up sharply, the change varies in different communities, based on actual sales of similar properties. “The 17.7 percent increase in Tacoma was slightly above the County average, bringing the typical Tacoma residence to $415,000, an increase of $62,000,” Lonergan explained. “By contrast Steilacoom’s increase was the lowest at 11.3 percent, or $51,000, for an average 2021 residential value of $498,000.”
Most commercial properties showed either slight or no value increase during past year, due largely to COVID-19 limitations on retail, hospitality and office activity. However apartment buildings and warehouses both had double-digit percentage increases, in response to demand for affordable housing and online ordering/distribution.
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 24, 2021, providing evidence that comparable properties have sold recently at a lower amount.