Property taxes drop for most Cowlitz County residents

2013-02-12T20:30:00Z Property taxes drop for most Cowlitz County residentsBy Barbara LaBoe / The Daily News Longview Daily News
February 12, 2013 8:30 pm  • 

Most Cowlitz County residents will get lower property tax bills this year, but that’s because the value of many homes has dropped.

About 63 percent of all property owners will see a decrease in their bills, and another 7 percent will see no change from last year, said Assessor Terry McLaughlin.

Bills were mailed out Tuesday and should arrive by Thursday.

Many homes now are worth less than they were the previous year, and in some cases values are decreasing faster than tax rates are increasing.

“I actually was surprised that many (bills) decreased or stayed the same,” McLaughlin said Monday. “I didn’t expect it.”

Last year about 53 percent of tax bills increased, either due to increased tax rates or new levies or bonds.

Property values were mailed out in July. The county’s overall property valued dropped $500 million, the biggest drop in four straight years of declines due to the struggling housing market.

Despite the overall decline in real estate values, not every property tax bill is lower this year. About 8.5 percent of owners will pay more. Increases are usually due to an increase in a property’s value or new voter-approved bonds or levies.

In Castle Rock, for example, the library levy approved in February will be collected this year, adding another 48 cents per $1,000 of value. In Woodland, school district voters approved a bond for a new high school in April that added $1.60 per $1,000 in assessed value.

Taxes are split into two payments a year, in April and in October.

Copyright 2016 Longview Daily News. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(2) Comments

  1. afruitsmoothies
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    afruitsmoothies - February 12, 2013 10:00 pm
    He was surprised? And we elected this moron. Take a look around Terry! Another elected idiot join the ranks.
  2. TrixieOR
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    TrixieOR - February 13, 2013 8:16 am
    We shall see, our home has dropped in value every year since 2008 and my property taxes have either stayed the same or keep rising. We have never seen a drop in our property taxes. Our house that was worth 135k in 2008 is now worth 100k or less... Thanks to the housing market and economy and my property taxes are more now then when we bought the place in 2006.
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