October 23, 2012
Oct. 31 is the deadline for King County homeowners to pay property tax bills.
Taxpayers should include the tax statement and write the property tax account number on a check or money order to pay by mail.
Homeowners can pay property taxes online or by check, cash or credit card in person at King County Treasury Operations, Room 600, 500 Fourth Ave., Seattle. The office is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekdays. The office is scheduled to remain open until 5 p.m. Oct. 31.
October 16, 2012
King County voters could decide to approve a $118.9 million property tax levy next month to continue funding criminal fingerprint identification services for local law enforcement agencies.
The proposal on the Nov. 6 ballot, Proposition 1, aims to keep the Automated Fingerprint Identification System, or AFIS, in operation through 2018. The system provides criminal fingerprint identification services to law enforcement agencies throughout the county, including the Issaquah Police Department.
The proposed renewal levy rate is 5.92 cents per $1,000 of assessed valuation, or about $20.72 per year for a $350,000 home.
Local leaders and law enforcement officials throughout the county, including the Issaquah City Council and Issaquah Police Chief Paul Ayers, endorsed the levy renewal.
Issaquah officers used information from AFIS 2,100 times last year to determine if a jail inmate was evading a warrant, concealing a criminal record or using a false identity.
Voters approved the initial AFIS levy in 1986, and overwhelmingly renewed the levy since then, most recently in 2006.
October 9, 2012
Issaquah homeowners can expect to pay about $5 more in property taxes next year, if City Council members adopt a 1 percent rate hike to fund long-term projects.
The property tax increase, proposed Oct. 1 by Mayor Ava Frisinger, is not expected to generate much next year. If enacted, city officials expect to raise only $69,707 — a drop in a proposed $35 million general fund budget.
The decision to raise the property tax rate by the maximum amount allowed under state law, 1 percent, is projected to cost the average homeowner $4.75 per year.
August 28, 2012
City Council members could decide to support a King County property tax measure to generate dollars for police fingerprint services.
Before the council acts, citizens can offer input on the proposal at a public hearing. The council meets to consider the measure at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 4 in the Council Chambers at City Hall South, 135 E. Sunset Way.
The property tax levy, Proposition 1, appears on the November ballot. The measure is meant to fund the Automated Fingerprint Identification System, or AFIS, a regional police fingerprint identification service. Issaquah officers used information from AFIS 2,100 times last year.
The proposed renewal levy rate is 5.92 cents per $1,000 of assessed valuation, or about $20.72 per year for a $350,000 home. The measure is expected to generate about $119 million overall through property tax revenue.
August 21, 2012
The source of dollars underpinning emergency response agencies throughout King County — including Eastside Fire & Rescue — is poised to go before voters next year.
In late July, leaders from the county, cities and emergency response agencies recommended a six-year renewal for the countywide Medic One/EMS levy. The existing levy is due to expire Dec. 31, 2013, and the task force urged leaders to put the property tax measure on the ballot again.
The annual property tax levy provided almost $1.4 million for the 2012 EFR budget. The amount each agency receives is derived through a formula based on assessed values and call volumes in the agency’s service area.
“It’s very important” as a funding source, EFR Deputy Chief Bud Backer said Aug. 2.
August 21, 2012
Statewide property tax revenue increased 1.6 percent, or $143 million, to $9.3 billion in 2012, state Department of Revenue officials reported late last month.
The agency attributed $37 million of increased revenue from 2011 to construction.
The average assessed value for a single-family residence statewide dropped from $243,998 to $229,908 — and the average tax fell $10 to $2,708. King County is home to the highest average assessed value ($350,975) and average tax ($3,992) in the state.
Garfield County reported the lowest in both categories — $66,141 for average assessed value and $682 for average tax.
State officials said about 40 percent of property taxes result from voter-approved local levies and bonds and levy lid lifts for local taxing jurisdictions.
August 4, 2012
NEW — 6 a.m. Aug. 4, 2012
The top elections official in Washington, Secretary of State Sam Reed, urged strong turnout in the upcoming primary election.
Ballots must be postmarked or slipped into a designated ballot drop box by Tuesday.
The summer primary — bumped up to accommodate military and overseas voters — allows local voters a chance to decide a property tax measure and cull the field in federal, judicial, legislative and statewide contests.
The electorate selects the top two candidates, regardless of party affiliation, in the all-mail primary election. The top vote recipients then advance to an all-mail general election Nov. 6.
In the Issaquah area, voters must select the top candidates for state House of Representatives and U.S. House of Representatives seats, in addition to selecting hopefuls for judicial and statewide posts.
July 31, 2012
Voters to decide funding for crime-solving tool in November
City corrections officers at the Issaquah City Jail use a King County-backed fingerprinting tool to identify every inmate behind bars.
The tool is a useful component in the Automated Fingerprint Identification System, or AFIS, a regional police fingerprint identification service. Issaquah officers used information from AFIS 2,100 times last year to determine if a jail inmate is evading a warrant, concealing a criminal record or using a false identity.
July 31, 2012
Elections administrators used the last days before the Aug. 7 primary to remind voters to follow proper ballot instructions.
July 25, 2012
NEW — 6 a.m. July 25, 2012
King County and Seattle leaders unveiled a land-use program Tuesday similar to the successful Issaquah program used to conserve the Park Pointe site on Tiger Mountain.
King County Executive Dow Constantine and Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn said the program is meant to improve infrastructure in South Lake Union and preserve 25,000 acres of forests and farmland in rural areas.
“This is the definition of win-win,” McGinn said in a statement. “We will continue to concentrate growth in our urban neighborhoods, where the jobs are and where people want to live and work. In return we will receive important benefits for the city and permanently secure more rural areas as forests and working farms.”