The Whatcom County Assessor’s Office is responsible for annually updating assessed values for all real and taxable personal property in Whatcom County, and calculating levy rates for all taxing districts for property tax purposes.
The 2021 assessments are established as of January 1, 2021 (July 31, 2021 for new construction), and are determined through analysis of property sales that occurred prior to the end of 2020. This assessed value data is used to determine the amount of taxes owed in 2022. An increase in assessed value due to market appreciation is not the prevalent cause for property tax increases.
Whatcom County voters approved increases for the following taxing districts that had tax measures on the ballot in 2021:
The levy rates calculated for individual taxing districts generally decreased as a result of higher assessed values. However, levy rates did increase for the voter-approved measures. The average levy rate for 2021 taxes was 10.01204 per thousand dollars of assessed value, while the average levy rate for 2022 taxes decreased to 9.15427.
The total taxable assessed value in Whatcom County increased from $38.33 billion for 2021 taxes, to $43.16 billion for 2022 taxes.
According to the County Treasurer’s Office, they will begin mailing tax statements the third week of February. Property tax payment information for 2022 is also available on-line at the Treasurer’s office website: https://whatcomcounty.us/331/Treasurer
Property taxes to be collected this year by all taxing districts in Whatcom County will show an overall 4.8% increase over last year. Property taxes will total $404,471,919 in 2022, up $18.4 million over 2020’s $386,098,169 that was levied for all taxing districts.
Property tax relief is available for senior citizens and people with disabilities, who meet program requirements. In 2021, changes to the program were made by legislation which added some allowable deductions for determining qualifying income. The disposable household income qualifying threshold for Whatcom County residents is $42,043. Participants must live in the home as their primary residence, including the year prior to the first tax year the reduction is applied for.
The Assessor’s office has new webpages with additional information online, including contact information for all taxing districts, updates to the Senior Citizens and People with Disabilities exemption program, and more. https://whatcomcounty.us/177/Assessor