Spokane Journal of Business

Assessed property values increase in Spokane County

Higher property taxes on horizon for most

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Typical Spokane homeowners saw double-digit rates of rise in assessed property values this year, according to data released this month, which likely will result in hikes in next year’s property tax bills, says Spokane County Assessor Tom Konis.

 The Spokane County Assessor’s Office began sending out the 2020 valuation notices to property owners in mid-August and is currently in the process of valuing new construction, a process that’s expected to be completed this month.

The probable increase in property taxes is driven largely by the overhauled education funding lawmakers approved in 2017, which uses a fixed rate that currently is $2.70 for every $1,000 of assessed property value, Konis says. 

“Therefore, if your house goes up 10%, then that portion of your taxes goes up 10%,” he says.

School funding accounts for about 55% of a property owner’s total tax bill. The remaining 45% of property taxes go toward a variety of services and are limited to a 1% annual increase, Konis says

In 2022, school funding will revert back to a budget-based system in which schools will take the total budget and divide that figure by the number of people in each district to determine the levy rate, says Konis.

Valuations increased 10.9% in the downtown Spokane zone, 12.7% in the northwest Spokane zone, 15.3% in the northeast zone, 11.3% in Spokane Valley, 13.1% in Airway Heights, and 9.7% in the rest of Spokane County.

In all, that equals a nearly $5 billion increase in home valuations, he says.

Overall, that’s slightly higher than the 2019 rate of increase in valuations, he says.

All but one of the six zones in Spokane County saw double digit increases in single-family home valuations, data from the Spokane County Assessor’s Office shows.

All said, Spokane County currently is valued at over $57.5 billion. In 2019, Spokane County was valued at $54.7 billion.

New construction is on course to break the 2008 record of over $1.08 billion in assessed value, Konis says.

The Assessor’s Office is still totaling the data, with valuations expected to be finalized by the end of this week, he says. New construction valuation notices are set to be mailed in October. 

“We’ve surpassed $1 billion for only the fourth time in county history,” he adds.

While last year’s new construction value increases were largely driven by massive projects like the $181 million Amazon Fulfillment Center, the record-breaking valuation this year is being driven by residential projects, which Konis contends is unusual.

Natasha Nellis
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Reporter Natasha Nellis joined the Journal in May 2018 and covers real estate and construction. Natasha is an avid reader and loves taking photos, traveling, and learning new languages.

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