New law extends property tax relief to more homeowners

Posted on December 11th, 2023 By: Mary Williams

As we begin looking toward the new year, are you thinking less about the next holiday party and more about how you’ll make ends meet in 2024? It certainly is the time of year when the reality of tight budgets, fixed incomes and inflation cause additional sleepless nights.

If you or someone you love are a disabled person or 61 or older and meet certain income limitations, help might be just around the corner.

Hadn’t changed in years

Until this past legislative session, it had been a number of years since Washington state’s property tax relief programs had been modified. In response to pleas from their constituents and increasing requests from municipal and county officials, the 2023 legislature unanimously adopted Substitute House Bill 1355 — an act relating to updating property tax exemptions for service-connected disabled veterans and senior citizens.

More homeowners will get a break on property taxes next year. Photo by Ed Friedrich

The primary purpose of this legislation was to significantly increase the income threshold so that more Washingtonians qualify for these programs. Qualifying income thresholds are based on the county median household income where your home is located. This summer, when Gov. Jay Inslee signed SHB 1355 into law, it significantly increased this threshold in Pierce County, from $45,708 to $64,000. Those who have incomes under $55,000 and $46,000 will see even greater property tax reductions. These new limits will allow thousands more homeowners to qualify for a tax reduction on their primary residence.

Cutoff is 61 years old

In order to be eligible, you must own the home where you live, be at least 61 by Dec. 31 of the previous year, or be disabled. You must also have a maximum household income of $64,000. The Pierce County Assessor-Treasurer’s Office has an interactive worksheet on its website where you can find out if you are eligible.

If you don’t currently qualify for the exemption, the earliest you can apply is in 2024 based on your 2023 income. Those who are currently receiving an exemption will have previously reported an income under $46,000, and will automatically be moved to the lowest income tier, since they already qualify for the maximum exemption under the law.

Those who are not currently enrolled in the program must apply to the Pierce County Assessor-Treasurer, supplying all required information. Applications should be submitted online using a fillable form with scanned attachments. Since you are required to submit proof of your 2023 total income, you can apply as soon as that information is in hand.  Proof includes your 2023 federal income tax return, if filed. If you are unable to file online, you can also submit your application by mail or in person.

Learn more

You can learn more about this program and the eligibility requirements here:

Pierce County website:

State Department of Revenue Publication:

State Department of Revenue Website:

If you find that you overpaid prior years’ taxes because of a lack of knowledge about this program, a mistake or an oversight, you may apply for a refund. Refunds will be considered for a maximum of three years. Separate applications will need to be submitted for each of the years for which you are requesting a refund.

Assistance is also available at [email protected] or by phone at (253) 798-6111.