On Thursday, King County Councilmember Reagan Dunn introduced a motion that would task the Assessor’s Office with sending a mailing to all property owners that contains a breakdown of how King County is spending their tax dollars.
“This is an opportunity for King County to better communicate to property taxpayers about how exactly their dollars are being spent—which, for many, is a very nebulous topic,” said Dunn. “The goal is to establish greater transparency in taxation and keep taxpayers informed of King County’s work.”
If the legislation is approved, all property tax payers would receive a letter or postcard that contains a pie chart of how their tax dollars were distributed to local taxing districts such as the state, city, schools, fire districts, emergency medical services, and many others. It will also include instructions on how to access their property tax distribution information through the King County Assessor’s online portal.
“I support greater transparency in property taxes. This is why I introduced my Taxpayer Transparency Tool on our website in 2018. Our website has a breakdown of where your tax dollars are distributed, and what various property tax ballot measures will potentially cost,” said King County Assessor John Wilson. “But, not every taxpayer in King County is aware of the site and therefore gets this information.”
Currently, King County sends a property tax bill, including information about how those taxes are allocated, to people who pay their taxes directly to the county. However, about half the people who owe property taxes pay them through mortgage lenders and never receive a property tax bill from King County. This legislation would fix this gap in communication.
This legislation will be referred to the Budget and Fiscal Management Committee on the Tuesday, July 20th meeting of the King County Council.