About Property Taxes

About Property Taxes

Property taxes are the primary funding source for the public services provided by local government. Each government entity is required to draw a boundary area where they will provide those public services. Examples of local government services are schools, fire and EMT/Ambulance, county road maintenance, cities, ports, clean water, and libraries.

Your property's physical location determines what boundary area is used to build your tax bill. To help break down a tax bill, each property tax bill individually lists each local government entity that provides that property service, and the amount owed for that service per year.

The billing and collection of property taxes is the responsibility of the county treasurer and is spelled out in Washington State Law. Everything is directed from when taxes are due, how payments can be made, and when and why interest, penalties, and fees are charged. These laws are set forth in the Revised Code of Washington (RCW) Title 84 - Property Taxes. To learn more about property tax laws click here.

The term "real property" for the purpose of taxation means the land, buildings, structures, or improvements. All standing timber (unless owned separately from the ownership of the land). RCW 84.04.090 fully defines real property.