February 15, 2019

Snow removal from sidewalks.  Many jurisdictions assign responsibility for sidewalk maintenance – including snow and ice removal – to the owner or occupant of the abutting property.  City by city, the specifics can vary significantly.  Some jurisdictions require snow and ice to be removed by a certain time – either a set time of day (typically no later than noon), a certain number of hours after the snow has stopped falling, or a combination of the two.  Other cities use more vague language, requiring removal as soon as practical.  Some ordinances clearly prohibit property owners/occupants from dumping snow and ice onto public rights-of-way or anywhere that would obstruct fire hydrants or traffic signs.  The Town of Wilbur declares snow, slush, or ice on sidewalks to be a nuisance, while Cheney exempts snow blowers from the city’s normal noise nuisance ordinances.  In most instances, municipalities are not liable for injuries suffered as a result of snowy or icy sidewalks. (MRSC)

During and after the recent snow event, the City of Normandy plowed everywhere it could, other than private, cul-de-sac, and hammerhead roadways that would not allow safe plow truck turnaround.  Today, big snow chunks were removed from sidewalks.  And, Waste Management attempted pickup, and provided alternative drop-off sites to Normandy Park residents, even though it did not uniformly do so in other jurisdictions.  Rather, in some other places, WM deferred compound pickup to week three.  Municipal service providers tried diligently to do the right thing during this last snow.  Normandy Park does not have a sidewalk snow removal ordinance, but public safety increases if residents arrange to remove snow from their frontage sidewalks before the snow turns to ice.  In the event Normandy Park has more snow next week, then please refer to the attached snow removal map for snow removal priorities.

Normandy Park Snow Routes – UPDATED MAP 02-2019

Property tax bills coming: Taxes will go down for some, up for others. Overall, taxes will Drop in King County by An Average of 1%.  The King County Assessor states that property taxes will go down in roughly half of the cities and unincorporated areas in King County, and go up slightly in the other half.  On average, property taxes in King County will drop by 1% compared to last year.  King County Treasury will begin sending out the annual property tax bills February 14.  King County collects property taxes on behalf of the state, the county, cities, and taxing districts (such as school and fire districts), and distributes the revenue to these local governments.  About 55 percent of property tax revenues collected in King County in 2019 pays for schools. Property taxes also fund voter-approved measures for veterans and seniors, fire protection, and parks.  King County receives about 18 percent of your property tax payment for roads, police, criminal justice, public health, elections, and parks, among other services.  Cities receive about 11%.  The change in tax bills this year is primarily due to a reduction in the property taxes collected for school districts as part of the state legislature’s “levy swap” plan to fund K-12 education. Under that plan, a new statewide property tax was added last year to increase funding for schools, while local levies remained in place, causing a sharp spike in property taxes.  This year, under that plan, local school levies will decrease, and will then reset in the future. What this means for taxpayers in general in 2019 is some will see a slight decrease in taxes, while others will see a slight increase.  Property taxes vary depending upon location, the assessed value of the property, and the number of jurisdictions levying taxes (such as state, city, county, school district, port, fire district, etc.).  Aggregate property tax collections in King County for the 2019 tax year will be $5.6 billion, a decrease of about 1% from the 2018 collection of $5.7 billion.  Aggregate property value in King County increased by more than 13 percent from the previous year, going from $534.7 billion to $606.6 billion.  Low-income seniors, veterans and disabled homeowners may qualify for a property-tax exemption offered by King County. Information on how to apply for an exemption, along with other property-assessment-related information, can be found at kingcounty.gov/assessor.   Property owners can find tax levy rates and more property related information by visiting the eReal Property Search on the King County Assessor’s website or by calling 206-296-7300.

Property taxes in Normandy Park will drop about 5.92% for the upcoming property tax billing.  Although median house value has increased from $559K to $623K, and city property taxes remain on the same schedule of increase, the property tax bill on a median house value drops $477. Why?  Because school levy and bond costs drop enough to foster the decrease.  For specifics, see attachment below.

2019 King County Property Tax Spreadsheet

Mark E. Hoppen, City Manager

City of Normandy Park

801 SW 174th Street

Normandy Park, WA  98166

(206) 248-8246 (Direct Phone)