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Linda Hjelle, Assessor
Snohomish County Assessor's Office Mission Statement
Our mission is to administer a property assessment system, that meets constitutional and statutory requirements, in an efficient and professional manner, while striving to provide excellence in service to our customers.
Changes to the State and Local School Enrichment Levies and
How It Affects Your Property Tax Levies
In 2017, the Legislature passed EHB 2242 partly in response to the Supreme Court’s McCleary decision. The Court found that the State was not meeting its constitutional requirement to fully fund basic education. EHB 2242 has several components pertaining to basic education funding. At least two of the components will impact your tax bill now and in the future.
First, beginning with the 2018 tax collection, EHB 2242 created a second portion to the state school levy. The new second portion increases the combined rate by $0.82 per $1,000 in assessed value from last year resulting in an increase in your tax bill. The first portion is $1.84 and the second portion is $1.01 for a total rate of $2.85 per thousand in assessed value. The average Snohomish County residential property owner with an assessed value of $335,800 would have paid $682 to the state school levy in 2017, while in 2018 that owner with an assessed value of $377,600 will pay $1,076.
Second, beginning in 2019, EHB 2242 imposes limitations on how much can be collected in local school (Enrichment) levies by restricting the levy to the lesser of $1.50 levy rate or $2,500 per pupil. This change affects both existing and new local school levies. Below are charts that show the levy rates for tax year 2018 and the estimated levy rates in 2019 for the state school levy and local schools enrichment levies as well as how these estimates will effect 2019 taxes. Overall, the owner of an average Snohomish County residential property will see a reduction in local schools enrichment and state school taxes in 2019.
Third, the Legislature passed SSB6614 that will reduce the state school levy rate in 2019. In Snohomish County we are estimating the state school levy rate to be approximately $2.53 per thousand in assessed value. The following chart shows the average 2018 residence value in Snohomish County and the effect of taxes if the value stays the same or increases in 2019 using the estimated state school levy rate $2.53 per thousand of assessed value:
Value increase %:
State levy rate:
Note: all numbers have been rounded.
In 2019, if the assessed value remains the same or increases up to or around 12.5% property owners would expect to see a reduction in the state school levy tax from last year while those with increases in value greater than 12.5% will see an increase based on our estimates.
In 2020 and 2021, the state school levy rate will return to the rate authorized in EHB 2242. The following chart shows the average 2018 residence value in Snohomish County increasing approximately 12.18% in 2019 and a hypothetical 10% in 2020-2021 as well as the effect of the estimated state school levy rate:
Value increase %
State levy rate:
Note: all numbers have been rounded.
Also, the 10% increase in value between 2020-2021 is only for demonstration purposes. The Assessor’s Office does not know what the market will do in future years.
If property values increase in 2020 and 2021 property owners can expect that their portion of taxes for the state school levy will increase. How much it will increase will depend on their assessed value since the state school levy is rate based for four years (2018-2021).
For more information on how property tax levies are calculated visit the Assessor’s website at: http://www.snohomishcountywa.gov/333/Levy
What are the Primary Duties of the Assessor's Office?
The primary duty of the Assessor's Office is to assess all taxable real and personal property for property tax purposes in Snohomish County. The office is also responsible for administering a variety of property tax exemption and special classification programs, such as the senior citizen/disabled person exemption and the Open Space Classification programs. We also maintain the official parcel maps for Snohomish County and calculate the levy rates for all taxing districts.
Click here to see Related County Department Services
How are Assessed Values Calculated?
The Assessor is required by law to annually assess property at 100% of market value and to assure that all values are in equalization. It's important to remember that market value is the price a willing buyer and seller would agree to under ordinary circumstances. This does not mean that an individual sale will automatically establish the value of a property. The Assessor uses multiple sales of comparable properties to establish assessed value. Frequently Asked Questions about The Assessment Process can be found here.
What is the Difference Between Real Property and Personal Property?
Real property includes land and all buildings, structures, and improvements to the land.
Personal property includes machinery and equipment, fixtures, furniture, and other items that are movable in nature that are owned or leased by a business. Personal effects which are not held for sale or commercial use are not taxable, such as household goods.
More detailed information can be found on the following pages:
How is the Amount of Property Taxes Owed on my Property Determined?
The Assessor determines assessed values, while the taxing districts's budget and voter approved measures determine your taxes. The amount owed that is shown on your property tax bill is based upon the individual taxing district's entire budget and levies. Taxing districts include state, county and city governments as well as schools, and other taxing districts such as hospitals, fire, and sewer districts. To determine your share of the taxes owed, the assessed value of your property is multiplied by the levy rate in your levy area to determine your fair share of the total levied taxes by these jurisdictions.
More information about Taxes & The Assessment Program can be found using these links;