Property taxes are a thing, but to the average Puyallup homeowner, they’ll be less of a thing in 2020 than they were in 2019. That’s because the local property tax rate imposed by the City of Puyallup will decrease from $1.43 per $1,000 AV in 2019 to $1.33 per $1,000 AV in 2020 (and this has steadily declined from a high of $1.86 per $1,000 AV in 2013). Just twelve cents of every property tax dollar you pay goes to the city.
Part of the reason for the decline in the levy rate is, of course, attributable to the rise in property values. Another reason is that the voter-approved levy to construct the Puyallup Library will be paid off this month.
The City of Puyallup does not levy the full amount of property taxes it is authorized under law to collect. Rather, the City maintains a “banked capacity” in property tax collections which represents the difference between what it could levy and what it actually does. The City’s maximum allowable levy for 2020 is nearly $12.5 million. The City Council could levy this full amount; however, the Council authorized a levy of only $9.24 million for 2020, leaving $3.2 million in banked capacity.
The City’s banked capacity originated in 2010 when the Puyallup Fire Department annexed to Central Pierce Fire & Rescue. Because this change essentially transferred all of the costs associated with this service to Central Pierce, the City voluntarily reduced its property tax levy by $3.1 million.