Bellingham council approves property tax increase for 2015

City Council has approved a 1 percent increase in the property tax levy for 2015.

The city expects to take in an extra $340,000 in revenue with the increase, including new construction.

That estimate is based on approximate property values from the county assessor and best-guess figures for credits, utility valuations and other factors such as corrections from last year, all of which will be finalized by the end of the year, said Brian Henshaw, city finance director.

Though the total levy rate isn’t certain yet, the amount the average homeowner would pay to the city likely would be the same next year as in 2014, according to city documents. The city’s tax makes up only a portion of taxes property owners pay each year.

The 1 percent increase is the maximum allowed under state law. However, that rate does not keep up with the rate of inflation, council member Michael Lilliquist said before the vote during the regular meeting Monday night, Nov. 10.