Washington State has long been a desirable location for many individuals and families seeking a high quality of life. With its scenic landscapes, vibrant cities, and thriving economy, it is no wonder that so many people want to call this place — and its neighborhoods — a home. However, recent increases in property taxes have made it increasingly difficult for many individuals to afford to live in the city.
The rising property taxes in Washington State
A property tax is a tax assessed on the value of a property, and it is usually paid by the property owner. The tax amount is determined by multiplying the property’s estimated value by the tax rate. Its assessed value is based on its market value, which is exceptionally high in areas where property values rise quickly. A property’s estimated value may increase more rapidly than the homeowner’s income.
The increase in property taxes in Washington State has been significant, with most homeowners experiencing a rise of over 6%. While this increase may not seem like much, it substantially impacts people’s ability to afford mortgage payments, thereby other expenses as well.
The cost of living is one of the most important factors people consider when choosing where to live. Property taxes can increase living costs, making it difficult for people to keep up with their payments. For example, landlords may be forced to raise their rent to cover their increased expenses, further exacerbating the problem for renters.
Likewise, homeowners may be priced out of their homes when the tax rate exceeds their income. As a result, some are growing increasingly concerned they may be unable to make their payments especially those living on a fixed income. This creates a cycle where people are forced to move further away from their jobs and schools to find affordable housing. So what can you do?
Ways to handle the rising cost of living
Look for housing assistance programs. Many states — Washington included — feature programs for low-income families and individuals. Sometimes this means rental subsidies, but there are other financial assistance programs.
Downsize accordingly. If you’re able to sell, that’s always an option, but you could also consider renting out a section of your home, either to a tenant or rent out your parking space or garage. You can also look into offering your services on NextDoor (even grocery pickup) for neighbors.
The increase in property taxes in Washington State is making it more difficult for some homeowners to afford their homes. The rising cost of living due to property taxes can significantly impact people’s ability to live. It can result in a decline in the overall quality of life in the community. As such, policymakers need to consider the impact of property tax increases on homeowners and work towards finding solutions that balance the need for revenue with affordable housing.