Washington Administrative Code
Title 458 - Revenue, Department of
Chapter 458-19 - Property tax levies, rates, and limits
Section 458-19-075 - Constitutional one percent limit calculation

Universal Citation: WA Admin Code 458-19-075

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

(1) Introduction. This rule explains how to determine if the constitutional one percent limit is being exceeded and the sequence in which levy rates will be reduced or eliminated in accordance with RCW 84.52.010 if the constitutional one percent limit is exceeded. The constitutional one percent calculation is made after the assessor ensures that the $5.90 statutory aggregate dollar rate limit is not exceeded. The total amount of all regular property tax levies that can be applied against taxable property is limited to one percent of the true and fair value of the property in money. The one percent limit is stated in Article VII, section 2 of the state Constitution and the enabling statute, RCW 84.52.050. The constitutional one percent limit is based on the amount of taxes actually levied on the true and fair value of the property, not the dollar rate used in calculating property taxes.

(2) Preliminary calculations. After reducing or eliminating the levy rates under RCW 84.52.043 (the $5.90 statutory aggregate dollar rate limit) has occurred, make the following calculations to determine if the constitutional one percent limit is being exceeded:

(a) First, add together all regular levy rates in the tax code area, including the rates for the state levy, but not the rates for port and public utility districts, to arrive at a combined levy rate for that tax code area. "Regular levy rates" in this context means the levy rates that remain after reduction or elimination under RCW 84.52.043 has occurred. The levy rates for port and public utility districts are not included in this calculation because they are not subject to the constitutional one percent limit.

(b) Second, divide $10 by the higher of the real or personal property ratio of the county for the assessment year in which the levy is made to determine the maximum effective levy rate. If the combined levy rate exceeds the maximum effective levy rate, then the individual levy rates must be reduced or eliminated until the combined levy rate is equal to the maximum effective levy rate.

(3) Constitutional one percent limit. RCW 84.52.010 provides the order in which levy rates are to be reduced or eliminated when the constitutional one percent limit is exceeded.

As opposed to the order in RCW 84.52.010, which lists the taxing districts that are the first to have their levy rates reduced or eliminated, this rule is written in reverse order; that is, it lists the taxing districts that must be first either fully or partially funded. If the constitutional one percent limit is exceeded, then the levy rates for taxing districts within a particular tier must be reduced or eliminated on a pro rata basis.

If the constitutional one percent limit is exceeded after performing the preliminary calculations described in subsection (2) of this rule, the following levies must be reduced or eliminated until the combined levy rate no longer exceeds the maximum effective levy rate:

(a) Step one: Subtract the aggregate levy rate calculated for the state for the support of common schools from the effective rate limit.

(b) Step two: Subtract the levy rates for the county, including the rate of any separate property tax levy as described in RCW 84.55.135, county road district, regional transit authority, and for city or town purposes.

(c) Step three: Subtract from the remaining levy capacity the levy rates for fire protection districts under RCW 52.16.130, regional fire protection service authorities under RCW 52.26.140(1)(a), library districts under RCW 27.12.050 and 27.12.150, the first 50 cents per $1,000 of assessed value for metropolitan park districts created before January 1, 2002, under RCW 35.61.210, and the first 50 cents per $1,000 of assessed value for public hospital districts under RCW 70.44.060(6).
(i) If the balance is zero, there is no remaining levy capacity for any other junior taxing district at a lower tier and their levies, if any, must be eliminated.

(ii) If the balance is less than zero, then the levies within this tier must be reduced on a pro rata basis from the remaining balance in step two until the balance is zero. After prorationing, there is no remaining levy capacity for any other junior taxing districts at a lower tier and their levies, if any, must be eliminated.

(iii) If the remaining balance is greater than zero, this amount is available to the remaining junior taxing districts at a lower tier and the assessor should proceed on to step four.

(d) Step four: Subtract from the remaining levy capacity the levy rates for fire protection districts under RCW 52.16.140 and 52.16.160, and regional fire protection service authorities under RCW 52.26.140(1)(b) and (c).
(i) If the balance is zero, there is no remaining levy capacity for any other junior taxing districts at a lower tier and their levies, if any, must be eliminated.

(ii) If the balance is less than zero, then the levies within this tier must be reduced on a pro rata basis from the remaining balance in step three until the balance is zero. After prorationing, there is no remaining levy capacity for any other junior taxing district at a lower tier and their levies, if any, must be eliminated.

(iii) If the remaining balance is greater than zero, this amount is available to the remaining junior taxing districts at a lower tier and the assessor should proceed on to step five.

(e) Step five: Subtract from the remaining levy capacity the levy rate for the first 50 cents per $1,000 of assessed value of metropolitan park districts created on or after January 1, 2002, under RCW 35.61.210.
(i) If the balance is zero, there is no remaining levy capacity for any other junior taxing districts at a lower tier and their levies, if any, must be eliminated.

(ii) If the balance is less than zero, then the levy is reduced to the remaining balance in step four. There is no remaining levy capacity for any other junior taxing district at a lower tier and their levies, if any, must be eliminated.

(iii) If the remaining balance is greater than zero, this amount is available to the remaining junior taxing districts at a lower tier and the assessor should proceed on to step six.

(f) Step six: Subtract from the remaining levy capacity the levy rates for all other junior taxing districts if those levies are not listed in steps three through five or steps seven through eighteen of this subsection.
(i) If the balance is zero, there is no remaining levy capacity for any other junior taxing districts at a lower tier and their levies, if any, must be eliminated.

(ii) If the balance is less than zero, then the levies within this tier must be reduced on a pro rata basis to the remaining balance in step five until the balance is zero. After prorationing, there is no remaining levy capacity for any other junior taxing district at a lower tier and their levies, if any, must be eliminated.

(iii) If the remaining balance is greater than zero, this amount is available to the remaining junior taxing districts at a lower tier and the assessor should proceed on to step seven.

(g) Step seven: Subtract from the remaining levy capacity the levy rate for flood control zone districts other than the portion of a levy protected under RCW 84.52.816.
(i) If the balance is zero, there is no remaining levy capacity for any other junior taxing districts at a lower tier and their levies, if any, must be eliminated.

(ii) If the balance is less than zero, then the levy is reduced to the remaining balance in step six. There is no remaining levy capacity for any other junior taxing district at a lower tier and their levies, if any, must be eliminated.

(iii) If the remaining balance is greater than zero, this amount is available to the remaining junior taxing districts at a lower tier and the assessor should proceed on to step eight.

(h) Step eight: Subtract from the remaining levy capacity the levy rates for city transportation authorities under RCW 35.95A.100, park and recreation service areas under RCW 36.68.525, park and recreation districts under RCW 36.69.145, except a park and recreation district located on an island and within a county with a population exceeding 2,000,000, and cultural arts, stadium, and convention districts under RCW 67.38.130.
(i) If the balance is zero, there is no remaining levy capacity for any other junior taxing districts at a lower tier and their levies, if any, must be eliminated.

(ii) If the balance is less than zero, then the levies within this tier must be reduced on a pro rata basis from the remaining balance in step seven until the balance is zero. After prorationing, there is no remaining levy capacity for any other junior taxing district at a lower tier and their levies, if any, must be eliminated.

(iii) If the remaining balance is greater than zero, this amount is available to the remaining junior taxing districts at a lower tier and the assessor should proceed on to step nine.

(i) Step nine: Subtract from the remaining levy capacity the levy imposed, if any, for cultural access programs under RCW 36.160.080.
(i) If the balance is zero, there is no remaining levy capacity from any other junior taxing districts at a lower tier and their levies, if any, must be eliminated.

(ii) If the balance is less than zero, the levy is reduced to the remaining balance in step eight. There is no remaining levy capacity for any other junior taxing districts at a lower tier and their levies, if any, must be eliminated.

(iii) If the remaining balance is greater than zero, this amount is available to the remaining junior taxing districts at a lower tier and the assessor should proceed to step ten.

(j) Step ten: Subtract from the remaining levy capacity the levy rate for the first 30 cents per $1,000 for emergency medical care or emergency medical services under RCW 84.52.069.
(i) If the balance is zero, there is no remaining levy capacity for any other junior taxing districts at a lower tier and their levies, if any, must be eliminated.

(ii) If the balance is less than zero, then the levy is reduced to the remaining balance in step nine. There is no remaining levy capacity for any other junior taxing district at a lower tier and their levies, if any, must be eliminated.

(iii) If the remaining balance is greater than zero, this amount is available to the remaining junior taxing districts at a lower tier and the assessor should proceed on to step eleven.

(k) Step eleven: Subtract from the remaining levy capacity the levy rates for levies used for acquiring conservation futures under RCW 84.34.230, financing affordable housing under RCW 84.52.105, and any portion of a levy rate for emergency medical care or emergency medical services under RCW 84.52.069 in excess of 30 cents per $1,000 of assessed value.
(i) If the balance is zero, there is no remaining levy capacity for any other junior taxing districts at a lower tier and their levies, if any, must be eliminated.

(ii) If the balance is less than zero, then the levies within this tier must be reduced on a pro rata basis from the remaining balance in step ten until the balance is zero. After prorationing, there is no remaining levy capacity for any other junior taxing district at a lower tier and their levies, if any, must be eliminated.

(iii) If the remaining balance is greater than zero, this amount is available to the remaining junior taxing districts at a lower tier and the assessor should proceed on to step twelve.

(l) Step twelve: Subtract from the remaining levy capacity the levies imposed under RCW 36.69.145 for a park and recreation district located on an island and within a county with a population exceeding 2,000,000.
(i) If the balance is zero, there is no remaining levy capacity for any other junior taxing districts at a lower tier and their levies, if any, must be eliminated.

(ii) If the balance is less than zero, then the portion of the levy within this tier must be reduced to the remaining balance in step eleven. There is no remaining levy capacity for any other junior taxing district at a lower tier and their levies, if any, must be eliminated.

(iii) If the remaining balance is greater than zero, this amount is available to the remaining junior taxing districts at a lower tier and the assessor should proceed on to step thirteen.

(m) Step thirteen: Subtract from the remaining levy capacity the portion of the levy by a metropolitan park district with a population of 150,000 or more that is protected under RCW 84.52.120.
(i) If the balance is zero, there is no remaining levy capacity for any other junior taxing districts at a lower tier and their levies, if any, must be eliminated.

(ii) If the balance is less than zero, then the portion of the levy within this tier must be reduced to the remaining balance in step twelve. There is no remaining levy capacity for any other junior taxing district at a lower tier and their levies, if any, must be eliminated.

(iii) If the remaining balance is greater than zero, this amount is available to the remaining junior taxing districts at a lower tier and the assessor should proceed on to step fourteen.

(n) Step fourteen: Subtract from the remaining levy capacity the levy rates for county ferry districts under RCW 36.54.130.
(i) If the balance is zero, there is no remaining levy capacity for any other junior taxing districts at a lower tier and their levies, if any, must be eliminated.

(ii) If the balance is less than zero, then the levy is reduced to the remaining balance in step thirteen. There is no remaining levy capacity for any other junior taxing district at a lower tier and their levies, if any, must be eliminated.

(iii) If the remaining balance is greater than zero, this amount is available to the remaining junior taxing districts at a lower tier and the assessor should proceed on to step fifteen.

(o) Step fifteen: Subtract from the remaining levy capacity the levy rate for criminal justice purposes imposed under RCW 84.52.135.
(i) If the balance is zero, there is no remaining levy capacity for any other junior taxing districts at a lower tier and their levies, if any, must be eliminated.

(ii) If the balance is less than zero, then the levy is reduced to the remaining balance in step fourteen. There is no remaining levy capacity for any other junior taxing district at a lower tier and their levies, if any, must be eliminated.

(iii) If the remaining balance is greater than zero, this amount is available to the remaining junior taxing districts at a lower tier and the assessor should proceed on to step sixteen.

(p) Step sixteen: Subtract from the remaining levy capacity the levy rate for a fire protection district or regional fire protection service authority protected under RCW 84.52.125.
(i) If the balance is zero, there is no remaining levy capacity for any other junior taxing districts at a lower tier and their levies, if any, must be eliminated.

(ii) If the balance is less than zero, then the portion of the levy within this tier must be reduced to the remaining balance in step fifteen. There is no remaining levy capacity for any other junior taxing district at a lower tier and their levies, if any, must be eliminated.

(iii) If the remaining balance is greater than zero, this amount is available to the remaining junior taxing districts at a lower tier and the assessor should proceed on to step seventeen.

(q) Step seventeen: Subtract from the remaining levy capacity the levy rate for transit-related purposes by a county under RCW 84.52.140.
(i) If the balance is zero, there is no remaining levy capacity for any other junior taxing districts at a lower tier and their levies, if any, must be eliminated.

(ii) If the balance is less than zero, then the levy is reduced to the remaining balance in step sixteen. There is no remaining levy capacity for any other junior taxing district at a lower tier and their levies, if any, must be eliminated.

(iii) If the remaining balance is greater than zero, this amount is available to the remaining junior taxing districts at a lower tier and the assessor should proceed on to step eighteen.

(r) Step eighteen: Subtract from the remaining levy capacity the protected portion of the levy imposed under RCW 84.52.816 by a flood control zone district until the remaining levy capacity equals zero.

Wash. Admin. Code § 458-19-075

Amended by WSR 14-14-023, Filed 6/23/2014, effective 7/24/2014

Amended by WSR 16-02-126, Filed 1/6/2016, effective 2/6/2016

Amended by WSR 18-04-006, Filed 1/25/2018, effective 2/25/2018

Amended by WSR 20-24-065, Filed 11/24/2020, effective 12/25/2020

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

Statutory Authority: RCW 84.08.070, 84.34.141, 84.36.865, 84.52.0502. 09-19-010, § 458-19-075, filed 9/3/09, effective 10/4/09. Statutory Authority: RCW 84.52.010, 84.52.043, and 84.52.0502. 06-02-008, § 458-19-075, filed 12/22/05, effective 1/22/06. 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, § 458-19-075, filed 11/25/02, effective 12/26/02. Statutory Authority: RCW 84.55.060 and 84.08.070. 94-07-066, § 458-19-075, filed 3/14/94, effective 4/14/94.

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

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