Blaineworth $500 million, county says

Published on Thu, Dec 14, 2006 by ara Nelson

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Blaine worth $500 million, county says

By Tara Nelson

Blaine’s assessed valuation (AV) will nearly double for 2007, according to figures from the Whatcom County assessor’s office.

Last month, Blaine finance director Meredith Riley had only estimated a 5 percent increase in the city’s assessed valuation based on increases in previous years. But with final numbers provided from the county assessor, the city’s AV will likely increase 81 percent, increasing the total assessed value to more than $500 million and decreasing the city property tax levy rate from $1.62 to $1.17, she said.

But Riley said just because the levy rate has decreased doesn’t mean the city portion of your property taxes will be less next year.

With last year’s city property tax rate of 1.9 percent, for example, an owner of a $100,000 home would pay approximately $190 in property taxes to the city of Blaine. With this year’s average residential increase of 82 percent, however, the value of that home would be increased to approximately $182,000, she said.

And with a city tax rate of 1.17, the individual tax increase to $212.
“If you look at the impact of the reappraisal, if your house stays the same value, you will pay less,” Riley said. “But if your house has gone up 50 percent or 100 percent then it’s possible your property tax will increase, even though the rate goes down.”

She added that many individuals are confused into thinking a recent Washington state law that caps the amount of revenue taxing authorities can collect at 1 percent applies to increases on personal property.

Instead, the law puts a cap on the increase in revenue a city can collect with the exceptison of revenue from new development.

“I think people, when they voted for it, were voting on a 1 percent cap on their own house, but that’s not how the law is,” Riley said.