Every year, the City Council must set the city portion of your property tax by November 30 per State law. This year, after five public meetings and a public hearing, the City Council voted to set that rate at $1.30 per $1000 value. There were a few reasons why:
  • Property tax is the 2nd largest, and most stable, revenue source in the General Fund;
  • It is the major source of funding for police, parks, streets, sidewalks, events, and administrative services;
  • Sumner’s next biennial budget (2019-2020) will have some challenges including the loss of $430,000 in streamlined sales tax mitigation, shared revenues that the City had been receiving from the State. That funding goes away in 2019. With the recent McCleary court ruling, the City worries that more costs will be shifted to Cities, further straining our ability to provide services.
  • With this rate, the Council also approved setting aside $330,000 in 2018 to be used to leverage further funding in grants for street/transportation projects and reserves to support future growth. Sumner is unusually successful in getting grants for roads, bridges, and sidewalks because it has matching funds available. Have adequate reserves and matching funds saves taxpayers money by reducing the need to borrow and pay interest to complete projects.

Overall, the City of Sumner receives only about 10% of your property tax bill. The remainder goes to other jurisdictions including schools, fire departments, libraries, the port, State and the county.