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Voters barely approving Medina's proposed property tax increase

Fourth-round results from the general election show Medina voters approving Proposition 1 by six votes.

MEDINA, Wash. — Residents of Medina are now approving a proposal that would increase property taxes that the city says it needs in order to avoid a $3.3 million deficit, according to the fourth round of election results.

As of Friday afternoon, Proposition 1 was being approved by six votes, with 554 rejecting it and 560 approving the measure.

City officials outlined the problem in a June newsletter, saying it will face a $500,000 deficit by 2020 and a $3.3 million cumulative deficit by 2025.

The problem stems from an increase in costs to provide services such as police, fire, courts, and parks. The costs to provide those services increase between 4-5% a year while revenue grew about 2.5% a year, according to the city. 

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The measure would increase property tax bills by 5% annually from 2021 to 2025. Local governments can raise property taxes by 1% each year without voter approval. On a $2 million home, property taxes would increase by $400 per year or about $33 per month in 2020. By 2025 those homeowners would pay an extra $589 per year or about $49 per month, according to the city. 

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In 2019, Medina homeowners with a median-priced home of $2.05 million paid about $18,475, according to the King County Assessor's Office.

Property taxes are the largest source of funding for city services in Medina, making up 41.5% of general operations. 

Medina has the third-highest median home value in King County, according to the assessor’s office behind neighboring Hunts Point and Yarrow Point.

However, the city said its property tax rate is the fourth-lowest in the county.