The latest assessed values for residential and commercial properties throughout Pierce County are in the mail to taxpayers and posted on the Assessor-Treasurer’s website.
“Home values in all parts of our County continue to increase dramatically, typically by a startling countywide average of around $80,000 each in the past year,” said Mike Lonergan, Pierce County Assessor-Treasurer. Overall, residential properties went up over 19 percent this year, compared to 16 percent in 2021, due to a continued hot real estate market.
Lonergan cautioned homeowners not to jump to the conclusion that a large increase in value will result in a large tax increase, because state law limits the amount taxes can go up without a vote of the people. “It’s a math equation,” he said,” and when values are rising, the legal limits on each taxing district will reduce their tax rates per thousand dollars of value.”
“Your property tax in 2023 will be the new 2022 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,” Lonergan explained. “So a lot depends on public votes in your local districts, such as levy lid lifts and bond issues.”
While home values are all up sharply, the change varies in different communities, based on actual sales of similar properties. “The 18.4 percent increase in Tacoma was near the County average, bringing the typical Tacoma residence to $493,000, an increase of $77,000,” Lonergan explained. “By contrast Edgewood’s increase was the lowest at 12.9 percent, or $69,000, for an average 2022 residential value of $604,000.”
As COVID-19 restrictions eased, most commercial properties showed slight value increases, with the exception of hotels which remained unchanged. Retail, restaurants and office space each went up around five percent, while apartment buildings and warehouses both showed another year of double-digit increases, due to continuing 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 23, 2022, providing evidence that comparable properties have sold recently at a lower amount.