Levy Limits & Taxing Districts
Washington State law strictly controls the amount that local districts may increase their total property tax revenues. Property tax limitations are restrictions that affect how high property tax rates can go. These limits apply to the taxing district as a whole, not to individual parcels of property.
The Assessor assures that taxing district budget requests comply with these limitations.
Include the state and any county, city, town, port district, school district, road district, metropolitan park district, water-sewer district or other municipal corporation having the power or authorized by law to levy or have levied a tax.
Tax Code Area (TCA)
A geographical area made up of a unique mix of one or more taxing districts, which is established for the purpose of properly calculating, collecting and distributing taxes.
Statutory Dollar Rate Limit
The regular levy rate of each taxing district cannot exceed a certain rate, which is determined by the type of district. A few examples of these rate limitations include:
- County Current Expense $1.80
- Port District $0.45
- City $3.60 (if annexed to a library)
The aggregate regular levy rate of all senior and junior taxing districts (not including State, Ports, Public Utility Districts, Emergency Medical Services, Affordable Housing, Conservation Futures, County Ferry Districts, Criminal Justice, and County Transit) cannot exceed $5.90.
Levy Limit (101 Percent Limit): Initiative 747 was approved by voters in 2001, changing the amount a taxing district may levy, limiting the increase to 1% per year. The regular property tax levy of a taxing district is limited to 101% of the highest lawful levy since 1985, plus amounts from new construction and state assessed utilities. Prior to I-747, the limit was 106% per Referendum 47.
Note: This initiative limits the amount a district may levy and does not affect assessed values.