Initiative 747: How it affects your property taxes

The passage of Initiative 747 has prompted a variety of questions, concerns and, frankly, misunderstandings about how I-747 will affect property taxes. In an effort to shed some light on the subject, my office developed information that I believe will assist citizens in understanding what the initiative does and doesn’t do.

What I-747 does:

Applies only to levies the State of Washington allows taxing districts to collect. I-747 has no bearing on the annual valuation of your property.

Affects only 2002 and future taxes, not taxes collected in 2001 or previous years. Prior to I-747, taxing districts were allowed an increase of up to 6 percent on the regular levy portion of your property tax. I-747 limits that increase to 1 percent.

What I-747 doesn’t do:

Does not cap the value of property. Your property value is adjusted annually and is based on recent sales of comparable properties. If the value of your property increases, state law requires that your property taxes follow suit.

Does not cap your individual property tax increase to 1 percent. The total increase for all property taxpayers combined will be capped at 1 percent. Your individual property tax change will be more or less than 1 percent depending upon the extent to which your annual valuation increase is more or less than the countywide average.

Does not apply to 2001 taxes. There are no refunds.

Does not affect levies that are voter approved.

There are more than 100 taxing districts in Pierce County. Each has the authority to institute regular levies. Voters may approve additional levies to fund specific projects. However, I-747 applies to regular levies only. The following information provides an example of both regular levies and voter approved levies that are generally found in taxing districts. There may be more, or less, in your district. The Assessor-Treasurer’s Office can help you determine which levies apply to you:

This is the first year that I-747 will be reflected in your tax statement. If you would like to know more, please contact our office at 253/798-6111 or visit:

Ken Madsen is Pierce County Assessor-Treasurer.