City council raises property taxes amidst economic uncertainty
The city council approved a 1% property tax increase at their Nov. 15 regular meeting, raising the amount residents will pay by an average of $19.17 per year.
Although the property tax rate will decrease from $1.42 per $1,000 in 2022 to $0.96 in 2023, the assessed value for Sammamish homes increased by 52% this year, leading to an overall monetary increase in taxes paid.
By state law, the dollar amount of property taxes a city can levy may only increase by up to 1% per year, so the city will receive an additional $315,403 in 2023. Councilmember Pamela Stuart explained that the increase was necessary to continue supporting city employees amidst rising inflation.
“Unfortunately, inflation is real here at the city as well, and our employees also are, you know, getting hit in the pocketbooks,” said Stuart immediately after passing the increase.
She added that the increase is not a full 1% increase on home values or overall property taxes, because Sammamish does not receive the entirety of what residents pay in property taxes.
“It is a 1% increase on the little itty bitty bitty piece Sammamish gets,” she said.
In 2022, the city received 15% of the total property tax revenue. Another 21% went to King County and other small taxing districts such as the library system and emergency medical services, while schools received the remaining 64%.
However, both Issaquah and Lake Washington school districts have passed levies raising their portion of the property tax levy this year by 1.4% and 10.5%, respectively.
These tax increases come at a time when rising inflation and major tech company layoffs are impacting many families. The Consumer Price Index, a key inflation indicator, has risen 8.9% in the Seattle area this October from a year ago, forcing consumers to pay more for basic necessities.
Additionally, local employers including Microsoft, Amazon, and Meta have all recently slashed their workforces.
Recognizing these challenges, Stuart said, “If you are someone who is having a hard time, please do go to the King County website. There are resources to help and please do reach out.”