SPOKANE, Wash. — With the latest election comes the latest batch of bonds. Spokane voters approved a half-billion dollar school bond and a library bond.
What does all that mean for your property taxes? That answer has many layers.
When it comes to the school bond, we don't actually know yet exactly what impact it'll have on taxes next year.
Here's why: The district first must figure out exactly how much of that money it wants to use in 2019. It'll figure that out at the end of this month. The assessor's office will determine what that means for property taxes mid-December. The property tax numbers will all be finalized Jan. 15.
What do we know right now? Property taxes are determined by several different factors, and we can broadly speaking predict which of those factors will increase and decrease.
Here are the basic elements to go over: Property value, state school levy, local school levy, local school bond, and local city levies.
For almost everyone in Washington, this is increasing. That’s just another product of the housing market around here.
State School Levy
This is actually decreasing. You may remember it went up last year to comply with McCleary. It turns out the state overshot a bit, and because property values are so high, the increased rate brought in more than expected. To compensate, the state is temporarily lowering its levy for 2019.
Local School Levy
This is going down, especially in Spokane. A side effect of McCleary is that the state capped local school levies. A number of districts are being forced to dramatically cut their levies. Spokane's will be cut in half and then some.
Local School Bonds
McCleary didn't affect bonds, though. Bonds are specifically for physical construction, whereas levies are for programs. In Spokane and a few other districts where new bonds were passed, this part of the property tax will go up. We will not know by how much for about a month.
We will learn what these elements will net out to in December.