The Assessor does not establish the dollar amount of property taxes required nor does the Assessor bill or collect property taxes. The property tax rate is calculated by the Assessor according to statutory limits. The Assessor is responsible for checking the amounts asked for by the taxing districts to make sure they are within the limits set by state law. We also compile all the different levy rates in your taxing areas to determine the total tax rate for your property.
The Assessor does not raise property values in order to increase taxes. The cost of providing public services determines your property tax. Local government consists of various taxing districts including fire districts, regional library, cities, county government, roads, ports. A portion of the tax is distributed to the state for local school support. In addition, property taxes are collected to pay for special voter-approved levies, such as school maintenance and operation levies and fire district bonds. The Assessor sets the levy rates based on taxing district budget requests, statutory limits, and property values. Levy rates are expressed in dollars per thousand dollars of assessed value.
Regular Levies are taxes that a district may impose each year without voter approval. Regular property tax levies are subject to several statutory and constitutional limits.
- The "levy limit" restricts the increase of the levy of individual taxing districts to one percent or to the implicit price deflator, whichever is lower. The base to which the increase is applied is the highest allowable levy since 1986. Amounts attributable to new construction and to increases in utility values are added to the allowed percentage increase. This law applies to a taxing district budget and not to individual properties. RCW 84.55.010.
- The regular levy of each taxing district cannot exceed the following rate, which is determined by the type of district. (The regular districts can also have voter approval for levy rate increases, purpose and/or length of time.) RCW 84.52.010
|County Current Expense||1.800|
|Cities||*3.375 - 3.600|
|Public Utility District||.450|
|Parks and Rec||.600|
|State School (State)||3.600|
|State School (Local)||Varies|
*Unless annexed to Library and/or Fire.
**Has one full-time paid employee or contracts with another municipal corporation for the services of at least one full-time paid employee.
- The aggregate regular levy rate of all senior and junior taxing districts (not including the state, port districts and public utility districts, emergency medical levies, and conservation futures) cannot exceed $5.90. RCW 84.52.043.
- The aggregate of all regular levies (not including port and public utility districts) shall not exceed 1% of true and fair value. WASHINGTON 1972 AMENDMENT STATE CONSTITUTION, ARTICLE VII, Sec. 2 and RCW 84.52.050
Voters within a district may approve excess or special levies. These levies may be for maintenance and operation (M&O) or for construction of buildings or other facilities. M&O levies are generally limited to one year except School Districts & Fire Districts, which are permitted to vote on two to four year levies. Levies to finance general obligation bonds for capital improvement purposes usually obligate the voters to pay annual principal and interest costs over a period of several years. Voter approved excess or special levies are over and above the statutory and constitutional limitations. Qualified senior/disabled persons are exempt from these levies. RCW 84.52.052
The Budget Cycle
Every year the directors or commissioners of all taxing districts meet in open session to determine the amount of taxes to be collected the following year. Public questions or comments are welcomed during this process. Once the budget has been adopted, and a resolution passed by the Taxing District Commissioners, the amount of taxes to be collected is certified to the Assessor. The Assessor computes the levy rate required to raise the certified tax for each district, and insures that none of the constitutional or statutory limitations are violated. After the levy rates have been determined by the Assessor, taxes are extended to all property within the boundaries of the respective districts. The County Treasurer mails tax bills on or around February 14 of the year in which they are collected, and the receipts are distributed back to the various districts.
Do taxes change if values rise or fall?
Not necessarily. Assessed Value is determined the year before property taxes are due and reflect market values in a region. Values may fluctuate due to inflation, when demand exceeds supply, when property characteristics change, or when disaster strikes. The assessor's role is to see that all property within the county is fairly and uniformly valued for tax purposes. This ensures that taxes are distributed among taxpayers impartially. Tax rates are set late in the year after taxing districts submit their annual budgets. The budget for each taxing district is divided by the total value of all parcels served by the district to determine its tax rate. Tax rates for a given tax code area are then added together to achieve a combined tax rate per $1,000 of assessed value.
Taxing District Contacts
Whom do I call if I have questions? For questions about values, aggregate tax rates, or levy rates, contact the Assessor’s Office at 360-867-2200. For questions about paying property taxes, call the Treasurer’s Office at 360-786-5550. For questions about budgets and district levies, contact the individual taxing district.
|Cemetery District 1||Ronda Dye||273-8336|
|Cemetery District 2||Wendy Dionne||458-5377|
Cities & Towns:
|Rainier||Tami Justice||446-2265 x 3|
|Fire District 1 (Rochester)||Linda Shea||352-1614|
|Fire District 2 (Yelm)||Kris Kruse||458-2799|
|Fire District 3 (Lacey)||Dale Hough||528-2310|
|Fire District 4 (Rainier)||Kris Kruse||458-2799|
|Fire District 6 (East Olympia)||Kris Antich||491-5533|
|Fire District 8 (South Bay)||Heidi Stumpf||491-5320|
|Fire District 9 (McLane)||Davie Kindell||866-1000|
|Fire District 11 (Littlerock)||Linda Shea||352-1614|
|Fire District 12 (Tenino)||Nijah Ahmed||264-4116|
|Fire District 13 (Griffin)||Corey A. Rux||866-9000|
|Fire District 17 (Bald Hills)||Helen Heywood-Mang||894-2517|
|S.E. Thurston Regional Fire Authority||Kris Kruse||458-2799|
|West Thurston Regional Fire Authority||Linda Shea||352-1614|
Other taxing districts
|Medic One||Sandra Bush||704-2784|
|Olympia Metropolitan Park Dist.||Aaron BeMiller||753-8465|
|Port of Olympia||Matt Peach||528-8004|
|PUD 1||John Weidenfeller||357-8783|
|Tanglewilde District Park & Rec.||Tony Barrett||907-903-5429|
|Timberland Regional Library||Paige Preston||943-5001|
|Thurston County||Robin Campbell||786-5440|
|Centralia SD 401-L||Joe Vetter||330-7600|
|Griffin SD 324||Gregory Woods||866-5903|
|North Thurston SD 3||Dr. Debra Clemens||412-4400|
|Olympia SD 111||Jennifer Priddy||596-6129|
|Rainier SD 307||Bryon Bahr||446-2207|
|Rochester SD 401||Jill Pratt||273-5536|
|Tenino SD 402||Clinton Endicott||264-3400|
|Tumwater SD 33||Jennifer Carrougher||709-7011|
|Yelm School District||Toni Brittain||458-1900|
Taxing District Forms
Taxing Districts must submit their budgets to the county legislative authority on or before November 30 each year in accordance with RCW 84.52.020.
For convenience, forms are described below and can be downloaded from this website.
FOR ALL TAXING DISTRICTS
Memo from the Assessor
Budget Packet Memorandum with dates and contact descriptions.
Memo from the Assessor
REV 64 0101
Taxing Districts must complete this Ordinance/Resolution in accordance with RCW 84.55.120 in order to increase this year's property tax revenue over the previous year. Otherwise, a taxing district can only increase its revenue through the addition of new construction, improvements to property, and any increase in the value of state-assessed property. If a taxing district wants to raise its levy amount, this Ordinance/Resolution, listing the dollar increase and percentage change in the levy from the previous year, must be submitted to the County Assessorï¿½s Office.
This form was designed by the Department of Revenue and is also available on their web site.
First Ordinance/Resolution (fill-in)
Second Ordinance Resolution (This will be available once finalized by Department of Revenue.)
This levy certification is required in accordance with RCW 84.52.020. The taxing district must certify its budget with the clerk of the county legislative authority by November 30.
Levy Certification (fill-in)
District Personnel & Levy Contacts
The County uses this form to maintain a current listing of District Personnel & Contacts.
District Personnel & Levy Contacts (fill-in)
Levy Calculation Worksheets
For Previous Budget Year
Levy Calculation Worksheets
FOR REGIONAL FIRE AUTHORITIES ONLY
Certification Form for Full-Time FTE (Due to law change, this is no longer required for Fire Districts.)
Fire Districts must complete this certification form in accordance with RCW 52.16.160. This certification allows a fire district with one full-time employee (or who contracts with a municipal corporation with one full-time employee) to exceed the regular levy by not more than fifty cents per thousand dollars of assessed value.
Certification Form for Full-Time FTE (fill-in)
|Cemetery District # 1 - Rochester||View||View||View|
|Cemetery District # 2 - Yelm||View||View||View|
|City of Lacey||View||View||View|
|City of Olympia||View||View||View|
|City of Rainier||View||View||View|
|City of Tenino||View||View||View|
|City of Tumwater||View||View||View|
|City of Yelm||View||View||View|
|Fire District No.1 - Rochester-Grand Mound||View||View||View|
|Fire District No.3 - Lacey||View||View||View|
|Fire District No.4 - Rainier||View||View||View|
|Fire District No.5 - Black Lake||View|
|Fire District No.6 - East Olympia||View||View||View|
|Fire District No.8 - South Bay||View||View||View|
|Fire District No.9 - McLane||View||View||View|
|Fire District No.11 - Littlerock||View||View||View|
|Fire District No. 12 - South Thurston Fire & EMS||View||View||View|
|Fire District No.13 - Griffin||View||View||View|
|Fire District No.17 - Bald Hills||View||View||View|
|Olympia Metropolitan Park District||View||View||View|
|Port of Olympia||View||View||View|
|South East Thurston Regional Fire Authority||View||View||View|
|Tanglewilde Park & Rec||View||View||View|
|Thurston County PUD||View||View||View|
|Thurston County Roads||View||View||View|
|Timberland Regional Library||View||View||View|
|Town of Bucoda||View||View||View|
|Tumwater Metropolitan Park Dist||View||View|
|West Thurston Regional Fire Authority||View||View||View|
|Yelm Fire District||View||View||View|