Grant County property owners get tax break this year

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EPHRATA — With the April 15 filing deadline for federal income taxes having come and gone, Grant County property owners face another looming deadline at the end of this month to pay their property taxes.

And according to Grant County Treasurer Darryl Pheasant, most should be getting a smaller tax bill, thanks to the local school levy cap enacted by the state legislature in 2018.

Pheasant calculated that the property tax bill on a $200,000 house is an average of $350 less in 2019, falling to a countywide average of $2,158 from $2,510 last year.

However, the reduction varies widely, with taxpayers in the city of Ephrata seeing the greatest reduction — $772 on a $200,000 house — while the owner of a $200,000 home in Royal City will only see their tax bill fall by $154.

Prior to the enactment of the new $1.50 per $1,000 of assessed value limit on local school levies, Ephrata had the highest local school levy in Grant County at $4.70 per $1,000, while the Royal School District imposed a local levy of $1.76 per $1,000.

The treasurer’s tax estimation includes all taxes levied — county, city, roads, fire district, hospital district, county library, port district, local school levies and the two state school levies — but does not include any assessments, such as for mosquito control and irrigation districts.

Pheasant said taxes and assessments differ in that taxes are levied for the general good — the taxpayer may not get any benefit from paying them — while assessments are paid on property where the owner does get a direct benefit.

“The Moses Lake Irrigation District and the mosquito district perceive a different direct benefit to the taxpayers than what the taxpayers may agree with,” Pheasant said.

Tax payments — either half or in full — are due on Tuesday, April 30 and may be paid by mail, online at the Grant County Treasurer’s website, in person at the Grant County Courthouse or at the tax payment drop box in the courthouse parking lot.

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