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A Quick Look at Bellevue’s Property Taxes

The main financial driver of the City of Bellevue’s day-to-day operations is its property taxes. Let’s take a look:

For every $1,000 of appraised value in our homes, we pay $8.21 in taxes. The state and county governments take $7.29; The City of Bellevue takes 91 cents. Put another way, the state and county take 89% and the City of Bellevue takes 11%. 

If your house is appraised at $700,000, you will pay $5,747 in property taxes this year. If your house is worth $1,000,000, you’ll pay $8,210. 

Washington State and King County property tax distributions include:

30% to public schools;

32% to the State public school fund (as mandated by the McCleary State Supreme Court decision);

5% to libraries;

11% to county operations;

3% to emergency medical services;

1% to the Port of Seattle, and

2% for RST (Regional Sound Transit)

The remaining 11% goes to Bellevue. (The figures above total 95% because I am working with integers. The city budget takes these numbers out to the hundredth decimal place.)

My job as a city council member is to contribute to Bellevue’s vision statement: “The city where I want to be.” My vision is to plan for full value from every dollar the city takes in and to get full value for every dollar the city spends.

I’ll be thinking about the nervous voter who hovers over her ballot, thinking, “I can’t afford to make a mistake on school funding, fire, or police protection. I have no choice but to approve whatever tax levy the city is asking for.” I’ll also be thinking of the burdened senior who hovers over the same ballot, thinking, “I just can’t afford to pay any more property tax”.

As a city council member, I’ll be asking about every line of property tax spending, even when the asking is tough or unpopular. Nothing will be sacred. I will be calling on city staff. I will be visiting city construction sites. And I will be accountable to you.

Additional references:

You can see your personal property tax breakdown at:

You can see the way Bellevue spends property taxes at:

2018 codes and levies, king county taxing districts:

King County Levy Rate Info (history of rates):

Bellevue Property Tax: Median Residential Value and Tax Change (2018 vs. 2019):
Key observation: the tax rate per home value went down, but because home values went up, the actual median tax increased by ~$450/year, or ~$37.50/month.

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