As homeowners across Washington brace for higher property tax bills due to changes in state education funding, a Republican lawmaker has introduced legislation that would provide relief. John Sattgast from the Washington House Republicans reports.
SATTGAST: Property tax bills will be mailed out by counties in mid-February and in most cases, you’re going to be paying more – at least for this year. The increase is being driven largely by changes in state education funding passed by the Legislature last year in response to the state Supreme Court ruling in the McCleary case.
Republican State Representative Cary Condotta of Wenatchee wants to lessen the pain of those higher property tax bills. He’s introduced legislation to reduce the property tax.
CONDOTTA: “My particular bill would take the state property tax back from 81 cents to 50 cents where it started, and would eliminate most of the tax increases that you’re seeing due to the McCleary decision that this year. We have the money to do it. There’s two-point-one billion dollars sitting on the table down here. There’s no reason we can’t spend 330-million dollars to get rid of that tax increase.”
SATTGAST: Condotta says a property tax reduction is a high priority for Republicans in the 2018 session. In some areas of the state, such as Lake Stevens, new property tax bills are expected to jump by nearly 28 percent. With deadlines and cutoffs rapidly approaching, Condotta is still trying to get a hearing on the bill in the House Finance Committee.
CONDOTTA: “We just feel strongly that with four years of record revenue increases – four years in a row – it’s time to give some back.”
SATTGAST: John Sattgast, Olympia.