Listen Live
Listen Live

Spokane County raises income thresholds for property tax exemption eligibility


(The Center Square) – Senior citizens, persons with disabilities, and disabled military veterans may be eligible for higher income levels while still qualifying for certain property tax exemptions, Spokane County Assessor Tom Konis announced Thursday.

A state law enacted in 2023 takes effect this year. It increases the threshold from $40,000 to $50,000 for the amount of income a person can receive and still be eligible for a tax exemption, Konis said. Along with income levels, qualifications for the exemption program also include age, disability, ownership, and occupancy, he said.

Individuals who meet any of the following factors by Dec. 31 of an assessment year could be eligible:

at least 61 years of age; at least 57 years of age and the surviving spouse or domestic partner of a person who was an exemption participant at the time of their death; unable to work because of a disability; a military veteran with a service-related disability evaluation of at least 80%, or receiving compensation from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs at the 100% rate for a service-connected disability.

Applications for the 2024 tax year based upon 2023 qualifications are currently available, and notices about the process will be mailed with tax statements on March 1. More information is available by calling the Spokane County Assessor’s exemption department at (509) 477-3698 or visiting the Assessor’s Office website.

As of 2023, it’s estimated that Spokane County has 219,918 real property parcels subject to assessment with an overall valuation topping $96.3 billion. Last year, the assessor’s office granted 9,421 senior and disabled exemptions that afforded over $25.1 million in total tax relief, according to an annual report.

Statewide, an update to property tax exemptions for senior citizens and service-connected disabled veterans was included in House Bill 1355 that was unanimously passed by the Washington legislature and signed into law last year.

It applies to individuals who own and are the primary residents of their homes. An applicant’s combined disposable income must be under the county’s threshold to qualify. Eligible individuals may qualify for a partial property tax exemption and a valuation “freeze” of their property.

The assessor finalizes property values each December, then provides that information to the county treasurer’s office, which calculates and collects associated taxes the following year. Owners who dispute their assessments can appeal to the Board of Equalization.

Last year in Spokane County, property taxes provided nearly $491 million in revenue that was distributed to the county, 13 municipalities, and multiple school, library, fire, cemetery, and other special purpose districts, the annual report stated.