Table of Contents
- Property tax 101
- What is the property tax rate in Jefferson County?
- How to pay property taxes in Jefferson County
- How to save money on homeowners and car insurance in Washington
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Residents of Jefferson County,
Washingtonare in luck—while the typical Washingtonian pays a property tax rate of 0.92%, those who live in the county only pay an average of 0.69%—roughly $2,138 a year. As compared with the average of $2,631 in the rest of the state, living in Jefferson County can save you bundles of cash in the long run.
No matter which county you live in, however, local property tax rates can change depending upon your specific location. Each county is split into different taxing zones, much like school districts or municipal water and power grids.
Property tax rates can also change year by year depending upon the needs of the local government.
So before you buy a new house or even if you want to know more about your current situation, it’s important to be knowledgeable about property taxes and how they may affect you. Here to help is
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Property tax 101
Property tax, sometimes known as real estate tax, is a tax assessed to private homes, buildings, and other properties that help pay for government programs and services. Property taxes account for roughly 30% of the total state and local taxation in Washington.
Each year your state and local governments put together an annual budget to pay for its staff and for the services it provides. Property tax is one of the most common taxes levied to raise money because it is a good way to tax only the people in the community.
These revenues go right back into the community to fund things like public schools, fire and police departments, libraries, and parks and recreation.
What is the property tax rate in Jefferson County?
The Jefferson County average tax rate is 0.69%, as compared with the state average of 0.92%. Homeowners in the county can expect to pay around $2,138 a year in property taxes, which is roughly $500 a year less than the average Washingtonian (who can expect to pay $2,631).
However, not every resident in the county is taxed at the same rate. Inside of Jefferson County are many different taxing zones, including school districts and fire districts. The County Tax Assessor put together this
websiteto allow residents to see in which tax zones they reside.
How Jefferson County property taxes are determined
Simply put, your annual property tax is calculated by multiplying the assessed value of your property by the property tax rate. For example, if your property tax is 1% and your home is worth $100,000, then you would owe $1,000 (100,000 x .01 = 1,000).
To calculate the value of your home, the county employs a Tax Assessor to determine each property’s fair market value, which is defined as the best fair price a buyer would be offered to buy your property.
If you think that the Tax Assessor has overvalued your home—which means you would pay more in property tax—you should speak with your local assessor. Should this not lead to an agreeable solution, you have the right to
file an appealwith the County Board of Equalization.
The Washington state constitution limits property tax to a rate no higher than 1%—any raises beyond that amount must be specifically approved by voters for things like new schools.
There are also discounts available for certain properties or homeowners. For example, those homeowners whose property is partly agricultural or is a protected forest may be eligible for a reduced property tax. Also, residents who are elderly or disabled may find that they have reduced rates.
Call or visit your local county office to find out what other discounts may be available for you.
What do Jefferson County property taxes pay for?
Property taxes help the state and local governments pay for a variety of public services. Here’s where your money goes in Jefferson County:
- Schools and education programs (56%)
- County public programs (16%)
- City and town services (12%)
- Fire departments (6%)
- Ports (2%)
- Other, such as libraries and public spaces (8%)
How to pay property taxes in Jefferson County
The Jefferson County Treasurer mails each resident a property tax statement in February of each year. At least half of the amount due must be paid by April 30 and the full balance by October 31. If your tax bill is less than $50, you must pay the full amount by April 30.
There are many methods to pay your property tax in the county—check out this list to see your options:
- Online: The county offers anonline portalto pay your property taxes, though there are fees to use this option. Credit cards have a fee of 2.5% of the total amount, debit cards have a $3.95 fee, and eChecks have a $2 fee
- By mail: You may pay by check and send your payment in by mail. The address is: P.O. Box 571, Port Townsend, WA 98368
- In-person: Those who cannot or do not wish to pay online or by mail can pay in person by appointment only with the Treasurer’s Office at the Jefferson County Courthouse. To set up an appointment, call (360) 385-9150 or email email@example.com
- Through your mortgage: Many lending companies pay the property tax for the homeowner from a property tax reserve account. In this case, tax statements are sent directly to the lending company
How to save money on homeowners and car insurance in Washington
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When are property taxes due in Jefferson County?
Jackson County property taxes are due in two installments—half of your total bill by April 30, and the remainder no later than October 31.
Are property taxes high in Jefferson County?
No, property taxes in Jefferson County are lower than the state average. In fact, the typical homeowner can expect to pay around $500 a year less than others in the state.