2019 Proposed Property Tax Levy - Public Hearing is Nov 5th

2019 Proposed Property Tax Levy - Public Hearing is November 5th

The Kenmore City Council will hold a public hearing on November 5th, 2018 on the 2019 Proposed Property Tax Levy. The public hearing will be at Kenmore City Hall, Council Chambers, 18120 68th Avenue NE, starting at 7:00 p.m. The community is invited to attend and express their views by written and/or oral comments. 


Each year, the City of Kenmore must establish the amount of property tax revenue needed to fund our budget. Property taxes pay for basic city services such as police, jail, and parks.Like most things, costs of providing these city services go up each year, even with no increase in the level of service. The Consumer Price Index for the Seattle has exceeded 3% this year. To keep pace with rising costs, the city manager is proposing a 3% property tax increase in each of the biennial budget years (2019-2020).


Washington State has a budget-based system of property taxation.  This means that the City of Kenmore establishes its desired levy amount (i.e., the total, city-wide property tax revenue) within the limitations in state law.  After receiving the desired levy from the City, the County calculates what the actual levy rate needs to be after considering property values.


Property Tax Levy Amount ÷ Assessed Value of All Properties = Levy Rate


Our property tax levy amount in 2018 was $4,837,631. This year, staff is recommending the 2019 tax levy be raised to $5,024,414, which represents a 3% increase, plus a small amount of new property tax generated from new construction.By state law, the City can only increase its general levy by 1% which does not keep pace with inflation or population growth. Because Kenmore City Council did not raise the levy by the allowable 1% for many years, the City has “banked capacity” and is able to now propose a 3% increase.


Because of rising home values, the resulting levy rate would actually decline from last year with this proposal, from $1.13 in 2018 to about $1.04 in 2019 (per each $1,000 of assessed value). However, the levy amount on each property will, on average, go up by 3%.


What Does a Change in the 1% increase to 3% increase really mean to me?

If your home value is $600,000, with the standard 1% tax levy increase ($1.02 per $1k of assessed value) your annual tax payment to the City would be $612.

With a 3% levy increase ($1.04 per $1k of assessed value), your tax payment would be $624.


Keep in mind, this example payment to the City of Kenmore is only a small portion of your entire property tax bill (about 12%). You will also pay taxes to the school district, county, state and other taxing districts.  


Surface Water Utility Rates

Another part of the City budget includes the surface water utility fund. This fund pays for handling rainwater runoff, flood control, and improving the water quality and wildlife habitat of our rivers and streams. New state requirements and standards to improve water quality have resulted in higher surface water management costs, and the city manager will also be recommending rate increases for this fund. The City has not increased surface water utility rates since 2012.


There will also be another Public Hearing for the Budget on Tuesday, November 13, 2018, 7:00 p.m. and the community will be able to provide input relative to the entire 2019-2020 Proposed Preliminary Budget.


If you are unable to attend either hearing in person, we still want your input! Please send your comments and questions to City Clerk Kelly Chelin, kchelin@kenmorewa.gov, 425-398-8900.

Last updated: Sat, 02/16/2019 - 8:32am