Washington Property Tax: Rates and Examples

Washington Property Tax: Rates and Examples


Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Washington property taxes are governed by a number of rules that limit the amount homeowners can be taxed and the amount those taxes can rise in a given year. More specifically, the total of general, non-voter-approved taxes cannot exceed 1%, and the total tax levy in a given area cannot increase by more than 1% every year.

As a result of these laws, Washington State’s tax rates are lower than the national average. The state’s average effective tax rate being 0.84%, yet high home prices result in a typical annual property tax payment of $4,061.

How the Washington Property Tax Works

Real estate taxes in Washington State account for around 30% of total state and municipal tax revenue. Property taxes fund local services such as fire protection, public schools, and parks.

Individual property taxes are calculated using two factors: the property’s assessed value and the total tax rate that is applicable to it. Assessed value is determined by annual revaluations based on market data, as well as physical inspections every six years.

Tax rates applicable to the assessed values. They are computed using the total assessed value in a certain tax district and the overall budget of that taxing body. For example, if the total assessed value is $500,000 and the taxing authority needs $2,500 in revenue, the rate would be 0.5%.

What are the Washington Property Tax Rates?

Increases in a taxing district’s levy are limited to 1% each year or the rate of inflation, whichever is less. As a result, if a county’s budget for the current year is $3,000, it cannot exceed $3,030 the following year. This limit is not applicable to new levies or other unusual circumstances such as annexation or new building.

Find out more: Publication 530 (2023), Tax Information for Homeowners | Internal Revenue Service

What are the Washington Property Tax Rates?

Property tax rates within the Evergreen State are separated into two categories: general, non-voter authorized rates and voter-approved special levies. Non-voter approved rates are utilized to maintain the continuing operations of towns and counties, whereas voter-approved levies serve specific purposes (for example, funding a park district).

The Washington State Constitution restricts the total of all non-voter approved property tax rates to 1% on any given property. Regardless of whether your county rate is 1% and your city rate equals 0.75%, your overall general rate will remain 1%. Because voter-approved taxes are unrestricted, the overall rate frequently exceeds 1%.


County Median Home Value Median Annual Property Tax Payment Average Effective Property Tax Rate
Adams $159,600 $1,698 1.06%
Asotin $211,900 $1,997 0.94%
Benton $255,000 $2,831 1.11%
Chelan $311,900 $3,130 1.00%
Clallam $267,900 $2,690 1.00%
Clark $355,000 $3,855 1.09%
Columbia $199,600 $2,021 1.01%
Cowlitz $245,500 $2,873 1.17%
Douglas $284,900 $2,459 0.86%
Ferry $183,000 $1,330 0.73%
Franklin $226,500 $2,472 1.09%
Garfield $152,400 $1,259 0.83%
Grant $191,600 $1,991 1.04%
Grays Harbor $192,600 $2,031 1.05%
Island $382,900 $3,475 0.91%
Jefferson $362,300 $2,849 0.79%
King $601,100 $6,328 1.05%
Kitsap $362,700 $3,719 1.03%
Kittitas $315,800 $2,502 0.79%
Klickitat $281,600 $1,840 0.65%
Lewis $231,900 $2,346 1.01%
Lincoln $173,000 $1,443 0.83%
Mason $249,100 $2,679 1.08%
Okanogan $205,300 $1,785 0.87%
Pacific $185,600 $1,923 1.04%
Pend Oreille $243,100 $1,727 0.71%
Pierce $336,600 $4,306 1.28%
San Juan $535,200 $3,342 0.62%
Skagit $341,600 $3,924 1.15%
Skamania $335,600 $2,495 0.74%
Snohomish $440,100 $4,791 1.09%
Spokane $245,400 $2,934 1.20%
Stevens $219,500 $1,648 0.75%
Thurston $315,600 $3,612 1.14%
Wahkiakum $228,600 $1,671 0.73%
Walla Walla $244,400 $2,617 1.07%
Whatcom $369,000 $3,736 1.01%
Whitman $230,200 $2,217 0.96%
Yakima $191,400 $2,027 1.06%

Source: SmartAsset

King County

King County, with an estimated population of almost 2.2 million, is Washington State’s largest county. It runs from Puget Sound to Snoqualmie Pass, in the Cascade Mountains. The county’s largest cities being Seattle and Bellevue.

King County’s average effective property tax rate is 1.05%. It is also the county that has the state’s highest median annual property tax payment of $6,328. Rates in several King County cities have been lowering while property values have risen. Because levies can only expand so much, significant gains in housing values are frequently offset by dropping rates.

Pierce County

Pierce County, located between the southern end of Puget Sound & Mount Rainier National Park, has Washington’s highest property tax rates. The county has an average effective tax rate of 1.28%. Property taxes have risen in recent years, but this has mostly been due to new voter-approved levies to fund projects such as the construction of new school facilities. General levies have remained stable, with annual increases of no more than 1%.

Snohomish County

Snohomish County is located just north of Seattle and King County and includes the city of Everett. Snohomish County’s median yearly property tax is $4,791, the second highest in the state and about $2,000 higher than the national median.

Spokane County

Spokane County, in eastern Washington, has much higher property tax rates than the state average. The county’s average effective tax rate is 1.20%, which above the state average of 0.84%. Spokane County residents spend an average of $2,934 in property taxes each year.

Clark County

Clark County is located on the Columbia River, approximately north of Portland, Oregon. Vancouver is its largest city. It is named after the early nineteenth-century explorer William Clark. Clark County residents pay the fourth-highest median annual property tax in the state, at $3,855, more than $1,000 higher than the national norm.

Where to Go for Washington Property Tax Help

If you need additional assistance with Washington property taxes or general Washington state tax information, please visit XOA TAX Service. We can connect you with a tax consultant who is experienced with your state. A skilled tax specialist may do your taxes for you without the need to visit an office.

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