Aberdeen, WA – A prefiled bill for the upcoming 2020 session by Rep. Jim Walsh would reduce property taxes. 

In a release from the House Republicans, it says the measure would gradually lower the state’s portion of property taxes up to 35 percent over the next few years.

The 19th District lawmaker says the amount of the reduction was designed to reflect increased revenue being realized by the state due to higher assessed property values statewide. 

Walsh believes the excess monies should be returned to taxpayers.

“For too long, taxpayers have been saddled with tax hikes—when in reality the state continues to see a budget surplus. Property owners have paid more than their fair share. They need and deserve a break. This bill gives them one,” said Walsh.

House Bill 2222 would reduce state property tax levies over three years starting in 2021:

  • 2021 would lower the $2.70 rate for $1,000 of assessed value by 15 percent;
  • 2022 would lower the $1.89 rate for $1,000 of assessed value by 10 percent; and
  • 2023 would lower the $1.70 rate for $1,000 of assessed value by 10 percent.

In November, the Washington State Economic and Revenue Forecast Council announced that state revenue collections had once again exceeded expectations. 

The strong forecast is largely attributed to higher assessed property values and taxes. 

According to the release, state economists assumed that assessed property values would grow by 5.3 percent in 2020, while the numbers are now reported to be closer to 7.9 percent.

“Yet again, the state has realized record revenue increases. Here’s the problem: telling legislators there’s more money coming in and expecting them not to spend it is like setting a T-bone steak in front of your dog and telling him not to eat it. Unless he’s well trained, it isn’t going to happen,” said Walsh.

“The extra padding in the state’s revenue stream rightfully belongs to the people,” he added. “It’s time for lawmakers to take action and return some tax money back to taxpayers.”

The 2020 session, scheduled for 60 days, begins Jan. 13.