Are you moving to Pierce County, WA, or are you just ready to buy a house in Washington? When the time comes to purchase your place, it’s an exciting time! Property taxes, on the other hand, can be stressful and confusing to understand, but it doesn’t have to feel impossible.
To help you better understand the taxes in Pierce County, Washington, here is a comprehensive guide that includes the average property tax rate, how to pay your bills, and important due dates.
Pierce County Property Taxes
In the 14th century, property taxes started in England. The monarchy began charging residents who owned property to pay rates based on the property. It wasn’t until the 18th century, during the Revolutionary War, that the United States started incorporating the property tax system. To this day, each state and local governments determine property taxes.
Throughout the county of Pierce, property tax is different in each district, but some of the consistent taxes in each city include:
- Pierce County
- Emergency Medical Service (EMS)
- School district
In Pierce County, WA, the Assessor-Treasurer’s office is the local agency in charge of handling the property taxes. The state of Washington heavily regulates the property tax through the code 84.52 Levy of Taxes, so each year, the districts will create a budget and submit them to the local government to ensure that they are within the legal limit.
If you’re curious about the breakdown of the different cities and districts, the assessor-treasurer office provides the recent public tax rate sheet.
The assessor and treasurer for Pierce County are under one office and are both run by Mike Lonergan. Determining your property taxes is based on the true and fair market value of your home. Every six years, the county will send out appraisers from the Assessor-Treasurer’s office will drive to each property, which is 325,000+.
While the county looks at the true and fair market value, they will continue to assess your property value based on the real estate market activity within your neighborhood and make the necessary changes.
They will take notes of the condition and views and then finish by taking a photo of the exterior to update their file. The Assessor-Treasurer’s office will base your property value at 100% of the market value. Based on the information the assessors gathered, the property value gets calculated, and the property taxes are determined. If you’re curious about the average tax rates per $1,000 based on the city you’re residing in, the county has this information available on its website.
It is essential to note that the county talks about how their assessors will only be driving a white car with Pierce County logos, official ID badges, and a specific uniform to help the residents easily identify them as government employees.
Pierce Property Tax Assessor-Treasurer’s Office
- Acting Assessor-Treasurer: Mike Lonergan
- Address: 2401 S. 35th St. Room #142, Tacoma, WA 98409
- Phone Number: (253) 798-6111
- Hours of Operations: Monday through Friday from 8:30am till 4:30pm
Pierce Property Tax Rate
The property taxes in Pierce County gets calculated through an assessed value. While each city has to create a budget every year and submit it to the county for approval to ensure it stays within the limit set by the state, they will all have a different set tax rate. In 2021, the average levy rate for the county came to 12.81 per $1,000 of market value.
Pierce County has some of the highest property tax rates in the state of Washington, so before purchasing a place, make sure it fits into your budget. They follow the millage rate, which means they charge $1.00 of tax per $1,000 of the true and fair market value of your home. Let’s
If you’re curious about the property taxes for a home you’re considering purchasing in the Pierce County, WA, the Assessor-Treasurer’s office has a free interactive map that allows you to type in the address to learn more information.
Tacoma Property Tax
Based on the calculator we mentioned above, here is an example of the information you can receive. We entered an address in Tacoma, WA, and it shows us that the total levy rate came to $11.44 per $1,000 based on their location in the city. Here is a breakdown of the different categories that this specific address was taxed on and the amount with consideration of their location within the city of Tacoma.
- Transit: $0.18
- City: $2.27
- Conservation Futures: $0.03
- County Tax: $0.85
- Flood: $0.10
- Metro Parks: $0.84
- Port: $0.15
- Local School: $4.36
- State of Washington: $2.66
It’s essential to note that for the city of Tacoma as a whole, the average rate per $1,000 is 12.54, but the rates for different areas in the city can vary based on location.
Pierce County Property Taxes by Town
There is a $5.90 Levy limit that gets set for the districts, but this does not include these other tax categories:
- Affordable housing
- Excess levies
In addition to the list above, there is another levy category. If it gets voted on by the district and passed, Metro parks can get added to the list.
In 2021, there was an average total levy rate of $12.18 per $1,000 of the true and fair market value throughout the county. Below is a breakdown of the average tax rates that includes the addition rates for schools, ports, conservation, EMS, and affordable housing for the different cities within Pierce County based on 2021.
Pierce County Property Tax Payments – Due Dates & How To Pay Your Tax Bill
When it comes time to pay your property taxes, Pierce County has you pay the first half by April 30th and the second half of the bill by October 31st. If you pay your property taxes by mail, make sure to include the stub for your property tax remittance or add your parcel number if the stub isn’t available.
When you mail your check, make it payable to Pierce County and send it to the Pierce County Finance department. Here is the address: P.O. Boz 11621, Tacoma, WA, 98411-6621. Even if your mortgage company makes the payments for you, it is your responsibility to ensure that the property taxes are paid on time. To prevent any late fees, always call the automated system for the county at (253) 798-3333 before the end of the month to ensure everything is paid and up to date.
You can also pay online by an e-check or credit card through their secure online portal, but this option does have a small additional fee for processing.
If you don’t pay the first half of your property taxes by April 30th, starting on the first of May, you will be charged an additional 1% per month against the entire amount of taxes you owe for the year. Interest percentage and additional penalties will increase on June 1st, and December 1st and keep raising (stopping at the maximum limit of 11%) until your bill is paid in full.
Anytime a payment is not paid in full by April 30th or October 31st, it is delinquent. If your taxes are overdue, and it goes on for three years, the state of Washington will require you to pay everything in full by April 30th of the third year.
If you are late on your payment, you have to contact the Assessor-Treasurer’s office for the full amount you now owe. But Pierce County does provide a monthly payment option if you get behind on paying your property taxes. To contact them about establishing a payment plan, call them at (253) 798-2728 or send an email: [email protected]
Pierce County Assessor Property Search/Tax Records
Pierce County has a property search tool from the Assessor-Treasurer’s office that allows you to enter your address and find all the information from the parcel and your tax bill number. In addition, you can find information about the amount of property taxes you owe, the assessment history, and payment history.
You can also utilize an additional lookup tool from Mello-Roos by entering either your address or the parcel number.
Pierce County Assessor Property Tax Exemptions & Deferrals
The Assessor-Treasurer’s office will handle any exemptions and deferrals. Here are the options according to the counties website, and they are available in the majority of cities and towns, but make sure to double-check with your local government:
There are two categories for the current use exemption: farm & agricultural and open space. The goal is to maintain and conserve land with open space so they can focus more on utilizing the area to help the climate and the community.
If the property owner notifies the Assessor-Treasurer’s office of any damage to the property, the department can adjust the assessed value if needed.
Any machines or equipment that a farmer uses to produce crops or other agricultural products are exempt from the property taxes.
If you have a qualified historic home, you can apply for a valuation that can end up reducing certain rehabilitation costs from the overall assessed value.
If a property is owned by a district, then they are exempt from property taxes.
Any property owned by cemeteries and other non-profit organizations can apply to the Washington State Department of Revenue to receive a property tax exemption.
If you are at least 61 years old or have a disability (proof required) and make $45,708 or less per year, then you could qualify for an exemption. Contact the Assessor-Treasurer’s office to find out more.
Property Tax Deferrals
The state of Washington has a special program that helps residents who own a home and has limited income by paying a portion of their property taxes. But it’s essential that this program only defers part of the payment and isn’t a grant. After you don’t live there, you have to pay back the taxes.
Pierce Property Tax Appeals
If you believe that the assessment of your property for the fair market value isn’t accurate, you have an opportunity to appeal. You must contact the Board of Equalization before July 1st or 60 days after the mailing date from when your change of value letter got mailed. You must provide reasons why you believe the assessed value isn’t accurate and how it doesn’t match the fair market value. To receive a form, contact the Board of Equalization at (253) 798-7415.
Pierce Property Tax FAQ
When are property taxes due in Pierce County, WA?
Property taxes are due twice a year: once on April 30th and once on October 31st.
Where can I pay my property taxes in Pierce County, WA?
There are two ways you can pay your property taxes in Pierce County, Washington. The most common is sending a check made payable to Pierce County to the following address: P.O. Boz 11621, Tacoma, WA, 98411-6621.
On-line; You can also pay online by an e-check or credit card in their secure online portal. This option does have a small processing fee, so keep that in mind.
How can I to look up property taxes in Pierce County, Washington?
The county has created a free interactive map that allows you to put in your address or parcel number, and have access to all the information you need: property taxes, assessment history, and payment history.
When are property taxes mailed?
You can expect your property taxes to be mailed out each year around February 15th.
Now that you have access to all the information you need about how property taxes work in Pierce County, Washington, are you ready to purchase a place of your own and call this county home? If the answer is yes, then once you’re ready to move into your new place, All Ready Moving is a trustworthy, hardworking, and dedicated team of crew members that are here for YOU!