Washington Administrative Code
Title 458 - Revenue, Department of
Chapter 458-19 - Property tax levies, rates, and limits
Section 458-19-020 - Levy limit-Method of calculation

Universal Citation: WA Admin Code 458-19-020

Current through Register Vol. 22-07, April 1, 2022

(1) Introduction. This rule explains the general method used to calculate the levy limit for regular property tax levies for taxing districts, other than the state, in accordance with RCW 84.55.092 and 84.55.120. Except for the state levy, the same method is generally used to calculate the amount of regular property taxes that can be levied by a taxing district in any year. This rule also describes what occurs when a taxing district makes a finding of substantial need in accordance with RCW 84.55.0101 to use a limit factor in excess of 100 percent plus inflation. This rule does not attempt to include all special circumstances, such as the reduction in the levy limit for cities and towns that form a fire protection district under RCW 52.02.160, which may affect the applicable limit under chapter 84.55 RCW.

(2) Increase in tax revenues - Ordinance or resolution required. The following describes the ordinance or resolution required by taxing districts when requesting increases in tax revenues.

(a) Except by holding a public hearing and adopting an ordinance or resolution, no taxing district, other than the state, may authorize an increase in property tax revenue, other than one resulting from an increase in assessed value of the district attributable to:
(i) New construction;

(ii) Improvements to property;

(iii) Increases in the assessed value of state assessed property;

(iv) Increases in assessed value due to the construction of wind turbine, solar, biomass, and geothermal facilities, if such facilities generate electricity and the property is not included elsewhere under chapter 84.55 RCW for purposes of providing an additional dollar amount. The property may be classified as real or personal property; and

(v) Increases in assessed value of real property within an increment area designated by a local government pursuant to chapter 39.114 RCW, provided the increase is not included elsewhere in the levy limit calculation. This subsection (2)(a)(v) does not apply to:
(A) Levies by the state;

(B) Levies by a port district for purposes of making required payments of principal and interest on general indebtedness; and

(C) Levies by a public utility district for purposes of making required payments of principal and interest on general indebtedness.

(b) The ordinance or resolution may cover a period of up to two years, but the ordinance or resolution must specifically state for each year the dollar increase and percentage change in the levy from the previous year. The dollar increase and percentage change should reflect everything included in the levy limit and should not reflect anything excluded under chapter 84.55 RCW (such as, but not limited to, a levy for property tax refunds paid under the provisions of chapter 84.68 or 84.69 RCW).

(c) A majority of the legislative authority of a taxing district must approve the ordinance or resolution authorizing an increase in the taxing district's levy as calculated in subsection (3) of this rule.

(d) Upon making a finding of substantial need to increase its levy by an amount greater than the rate of inflation, the legislative authority of a taxing district may adopt a second ordinance or resolution establishing a limit factor greater than 100 percent plus inflation. But the substantial need limit factor can never exceed 101 percent.
(i) In districts with legislative authorities of four members or less, two-thirds of the members must approve an ordinance or resolution supporting a substantial need to increase the limit factor.

(ii) In districts with more than four members, a majority plus one must approve an ordinance or resolution supporting a substantial need to increase the limit factor.

(3) Calculation of levy limit for all taxing districts other than the state. The amount of regular property taxes that can be levied by a taxing district, other than the state, in any year is limited to an amount that will not exceed the amount resulting from the following calculation, except as otherwise provided by statute:

(a) The highest amount that could have been lawfully levied by the taxing district in any year since 1985 for 1986 collection, multiplied by the limit factor, excluding any increase due to (b)(v) of this subsection, unless the highest levy was the statutory maximum rate amount, plus;

(b) A dollar amount calculated by multiplying the regular property tax levy rate of the district for the preceding year, or the last year the taxing district levied taxes, by the increase in assessed value of the district resulting from:
(i) New construction;

(ii) Improvements to property;

(iii) Increases in the assessed value of state assessed property;

(iv) Increases in assessed value due to the construction of wind turbine, solar, biomass, and geothermal facilities, if such facilities generate electricity and the property is not included elsewhere under chapter 84.55 RCW for purposes of providing an additional dollar amount. The property may be classified as real or personal property; and

(v) Increases in assessed value of real property within an increment area designated by a local government pursuant to chapter 39.114 RCW, provided the increase is not included elsewhere in the levy limit calculation. This subsection (3)(b)(v) does not apply to:
(A) Levies by the state;

(B) Levies by a port district for purposes of making required payments of principal and interest on general indebtedness; and

(C) Levies by a public utility district for purposes of making required payments of principal and interest on general indebtedness.

(4) Calculation of levy limit for the state levy. The levy limit for the state is calculated according to WAC 458-19-550.

Wash. Admin. Code § 458-19-020

Amended by WSR 15-03-087, Filed 1/21/2015, effective 2/21/2015

Amended by WSR 18-14-095, Filed 7/3/2018, effective 8/3/2018

Amended by WSR 22-04-023, Filed 1/24/2022, effective 2/24/2022

Statutory Authority: RCW 84.08.010, 84.08.070, 84.48.080, 84.55.060, 84.52.0502, chapters 84.52 and 84.55 RCW, and RCW 34.05.230(1). 02-24-015, § 458-19-020, filed 11/25/02, effective 12/26/02. Statutory Authority: RCW 84.55.060 and 84.08.070. 94-07-066, § 458-19-020, filed 3/14/94, effective 4/14/94.

This section was updated on 3/4/2022 by an editor because it was made effective.

Disclaimer: These regulations may not be the most recent version. Washington may have more current or accurate information. We make no warranties or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the information contained on this site or the information linked to on the state site. Please check official sources.