Community Government

Property tax statements may be in your mailbox

Posted on February 15th, 2024 By:

Property tax statements are in the mail.

Like last year, Gig Harbor-area bills rose more than anyplace else in Pierce County. Unlike the past few years, however, it can’t be attributed to soaring home values.

The 5.2% increase for city residents and 6.7% for combined city and unincorporated properties is largely the result of voter-approved school and fire levies. The increase is down from 8.5% and 11%, respectively, last year.

Voter-approved levies

Average home values within city limits actually dropped, from $773,525 to $769,260. In the overall area they creeped up from $914,001 to $916,310.

Tax rates, however, grew because of passage of Peninsula School District’s three-year replacement educational programs and operations levy; the school district’s six-year safety, security and technology levy; and Gig Harbor Fire & Medic One’s general levy lid lift.

As a result, the average city homeowner will pay $6,516 ($323 more than last year) and those in the larger area served by the fire department $8,572 ($534 more). Tax payments are due in two halves, by April 30 and Oct. 31.

Determining tax rate

The annual tax is determined by multiplying property value by the combined rate of all taxing districts where the property is located. Unless there is a vote of the people, most taxing districts are limited to receiving 101% of last year’s property tax revenue, plus any taxes resulting from new construction in their area.

Overall, the average residential 2024 tax bill countywide is $5,579, a 5.1% increase over last year. The largest decrease in average taxes was 10% in Fife due to the end of a school bond.

In addition to schools, property taxes pay for city and county government, fire districts, emergency medical service, parks, libraries, roads, Port of Tacoma and flood control. Fees are also included for conservation, noxious weed control and surface water.

State and local levies for schools make up 45% of Gig Harbor-area property taxes, followed by the fire department (23.7%), county, including roads (18.6%), parks (6.2%) and the library (3.6%)

A significant change in 2024 is that homeowners over age 61 and those who are fully disabled at any age can qualify for a significant property tax reduction if their household gross income is under $64,000. The previous income limit was $45,708. It will allow thousands more taxpayers to qualify for a partial tax exemption. Application information is on the Assessor-Treasurer’s website.