Rapidly rising property taxes poses problem for homeowner

I just received my 2020 King County real estate tax statement and I was stunned.

Is King County actually trying to solve the housing crisis or are they trying to cause more people to lose their homes?

I’ve been a homeowner in the county, specifically Kent, for more than 20 years. As would be expected, property values have gone up steadily and, as also expected, so have property taxes. However, income increases have not come close to keeping up with the tax increases.

King County is doing its best to tax me out of my home. In the past 15 years, my taxes have increased 68 percent. Compare that to an average 32 percent inflation increase over the same period. Where is this money supposed to come from? It isn’t coming from any cost-of-living increases I have seen or might be able to expect.

Not only are the taxes going up, but the rate of increase is going up dramatically. From 2005 to 2010, I saw a net 9 percent increase in property taxes. From 201o to 2015, the net increase was 19 percent. From 2015 to 2020, the increase was a staggering 30 percent. That is roughly doubling every five years.

Should I now expect a 58-60 percent increase in the next five years? A geometric increase in taxes like that without a geometric increase in income will force me out of my home.

Something has to change to reign this in. I don’t mind paying a little more every year for necessary services such as schools, firefighting and police, but this is getting completely out of hand. The increases cannot be allowed to go beyond what residents are able to pay, and that means it should not outpace inflation and the cost of living. If it does, residents will be forced to leave.

Is that the goal here?

– Kevin Brockschmidt

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