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Bonney Lake taxes could decrease next year
Homeowners in Bonney Lake can expect to pay about the same in property taxes in 2011 as they did this year, and perhaps even see a reduction in their rate.
The City Council Nov. 23 passed a resolution setting 2011 tax collections at a bit more than $2.5 million. Including debt service payments for a 1997 bond, the city will collect a total of almost $2.9 million.
The amount represents an approximate increase of 1 percent over last year’s revenues, as limited by Washington state law.
Finance Director Al Juarez said the estimated property tax rate is about $1.27 per $1,000 of assessed property value. That is based on an estimated city valuation of $1.96 billion.
According to the Pierce County Assessor’s Office, the average home value in Bonney Lake in 2010 was $262,542, down from $298,232 in 2009.
The 2010 tax rate was $1.26 per $1,000 assessed value.
However, because the actual valuation of the city will not be released until January, it is still an estimate and the official amount in 2010 increased from the original estimate, landing at a final value of $2.23 billion.
Because of the increase over the estimate last year, Juarez said he expects a similar increase when the final amounts come out next month.
If the assessed value of the city goes up, the tax rate should lower for residents, meaning next year’s taxes could be less than this year’s for most residents.
The tax rate is part of the city’s 2011-12 budget process. Mayor Neil Johnson proposed a “status quo” budget this year, but includes a plan to spend $2.6 million of the city’s reserve fund, which is expected to finish this year at more than $5.6 million.
The remainder of the budget for the next biennium includes no additional taxes or fee increases and there are no plans for any staffing changes or furloughs for city staff, though three open positions will not be filled.
There will be a continuing public hearing on the city’s biennial budget at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday during the City Council workshop at Bonney Lake City Hall, 19306 Bonney Lake Blvd. The hearing will continue to the following week as well, when the council is expected to vote on the final version of the 2011-12 budget.