Thank you to those who have already paid your first half property taxes for 2020.
The purpose of this message is to give you an update and keep you informed about how your tax dollars are being collected in these unprecedented times.
In response to Governor Inslee’s COVID pandemic State of Emergency shutdown, I utilized my authority to extend the tax payment deadline from April 30th to June 15th in Spokane County. This extension was the longest in the state, with Spokane taxpayers being given an extra 15 days compared to extensions in King, Pierce and Snohomish counties.
In the graph below you can see that so far the Spring tax collection rate for 2020 is running about 6% behind the rate for 2019 of total taxes imposed. Right now, we are advising the approximately 80 local government entities for which our Treasurer’s Office serves as banker to expect a 90% collection rate for the year.
Notably, even with a 90% collection rate the total dollar value of tax collected this year would still increase compared to 2019. This is due to budget increases and corresponding tax increases imposed by the legislature, local governments and the voters themselves. On average, 38% of your tax bill is self-imposed by the voters directly in the form of levies and bonds.
I have heard from many taxpayers who have faced significant economic hardship and hopefully the extension provided some small measure of help to those impacted. I wish that I could reduce or eliminate the tax bill of those who have been affected, but I do not have that legal authority.
While the Treasurer’s Office does not set your tax rates or assess your home’s value, it is my job to collect, safeguard and invest your public dollars fairly and responsibly. Hopefully this communication helps keep you informed.
We work for you,
The Treasurer of Spokane County