Property tax increases are ‘moderate’ in Pierce County

Property tax statements for 2023 were mailed in mid-February to 174,000 owners of residential and commercial land and buildings in Pierce County, bringing news of mostly “moderate” increases in tax bills.

Real estate values surged again in 2022, but statutory limits on property tax rates reduced the rate (per thousand dollars of assessed value) by over a dollar in nearly every taxing district, with “significant tax increases” where voters approved new levies or bonds, said county Assessor-Treasurer Mike Longergan.

“As a result,” Lonergan said, “we see moderate tax increases in most of Pierce County,” and even “small decreases” in Edgewood and Sumner, where a school bond was paid off.

Countywide, property taxes this year total $1.8 billion, a 5 percent increase over the amount billed in 2022, for an average tax bill this year of $5,579. The taxes pay for city and county governments, fire districts, emergency medical service (EMS), parks, libraries, roads, Port of Tacoma, Sound Transit, and flood control. Fees are also included for conservation programs, noxious weed control, and surface-water management.

Taxes are determined by multiplying property value by the combined rate of all taxing districts where the property is located. Unless new taxes have been approved by voters, most taxing districts are limited to receiving 101 percent of the previous year’s property tax revenue, plus taxes resulting from new construction.

Seventeen new levies in 10 school districts, plus levy lifts or EMS levies in five fire districts, were approved by voters last year.

Tax payments are due in two halves by May 1 and Oct. 31. For some homes, the payments are made through a mortgage escrow account with a bank or mortgage company. Taxpayers with questions may contact the assessor-treasurer’s office online or by calling 253-798-6111.



Property tax exemptions are available for qualified landowners who are at least 61 or retired because of a disability, and have an annual income of $45,708 or less. The exemptions, which are for six years and can be renewed, freeze the value of a home as of Jan. 1 of the initial application year and free the owner of excess levies and a portion of regular levies. The assessor-treasurer will continue to establish the market value of the property on an annual basis.

Additional information is available at 253-798-6111 for Pierce County landowners and at 206-296-7300 for King County landowners.