2022 Levy Highlights

What is the county-wide increase for  2022?

The total 2022 levy amount increased $5.76 million or 9.05% over last year. To see a 6-year comparison of levy amounts by taxing district, please click here.   

1% Property Tax Levy Limit

The passage of Initiative 747 in 2001 limited the year-over-year budget increase of a taxing district to 1% plus any revenue generated by new construction plus any revenue generated by business properties that cross county boundaries, such as telecommunications, air transportation companies, etc. 

There are three exceptions to the 1% property levy increase growth. 

  • Local school excess taxes
  • Levy lid lift & excess levies (voter approval is required to increase more than 1%)
  • Banked capacity (If a taxing district levies less than the maximum amount allowed in prior years, the taxing district retains the right to use the "banked" amount at a future date without voter approval.)
What caused the levy amount to increase more than the 1% limit in 2022?

State school taxes

The state school taxes increased $900K or 3.50% over last year.

The state must make ample provisions for a basic education program through regular and dependable tax sources. In other words, the state cannot rely on annual local tax levies that require approval from county voters.  In tax year 2018, the state was mandated by the courts to allocate additional funds to basic education. The additional funding is known as the "State -Part 2" levy. 

State school taxes increased $12.9 million  or 95.01% from 2018 through 2022.

Local school taxes

The local school taxes are not subject to a 1% year-over-year budget increase. 

  • Orcas school district: $622k or 17.28% increase over  last year
  • Lopez school district: $180k or 10.11% increase over last year
  • San Juan school district $101.6k or 2.97% increase over last year

 The voters of the Orcas and Lopez school districts approved levy increases for tax year 2022. 2022 School Levy

Prior years' voter approved measures continue to impact taxes.2022 School Prior Levy_Rev1

Levy lid lift and excess levies

Voter approved levy lid lift and excess levies are not subject to a 1% year-over-year budget increase. Below are the increases in property taxes that voters approved in 2022.2022 Voted Levies - Non Schools

Banked Capacity

Orcas Cemetery District did not collect the maximum allowable levies in prior years. The Orcas Cemetery District used some of the "banked" or "saved" dollars to increase the  2022 budget by $5,000 or 25% over last years' levy amount. The total 2022 levy amount for the Orcas Cemetery District is $25,000.

Annexation of San Juan Fire District

The voters approved the annexation of the Town of Friday Harbor and islands to the north of San Juan Island into the San Juan Fire District #3. The property owners of the annexed islands (tax code areas 491, 492  and 497) will see a new levy for the San Juan Fire District #3. The property owners of the Town of Friday Harbor will pay for fire service directly to San Juan Fire District #3. This was previously paid to San Juan Fire District #3 by the Town of Friday Harbor. 

Takeaway

San Juan County voters supported additional increases to certain taxing districts in 2022. If the voted levies had not been approved and San Juan Fire annexation had not occurred, the approximate levy increase would have been $2.3 million or 3.58% over last year compared to the actual levy increase amount of $5.76 million or 9.05% over last year.