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Main Street as viewed from the My Ferndale News traffic cam (February 3, 2020).

2020 Whatcom County property tax statements are in the mail

Whatcom County property owners will begin seeing their 2020 Whatcom County property tax statements this weekend as they began being mailed yesterday, Friday, February 14th, according to Whatcom County Treasurer Steve Oliver.

According to Oliver, “The total amount of taxes, fees and assessments to be collected this year is $374,128,091 dollars. 111,439 tax statements are being mailed out countywide.” This compares with last year’s county-wide total of $327,186,306 from 111,125 statements.

Taxpayers will be able to see which portion of their tax bill is from voter-approved and non-voted taxes, Oliver pointed out in a press release. The tax statement also details the dollar amount distributed to each taxing district for your property.

If your mortgage company pays your taxes, this statement is for your information only,” Oliver said.

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According to recent data published by the Whatcom County Assessor’s Office, property taxes collected across the county are divided among the various taxing districts as follows:

School Districts32.08%
State29.28%
Cities8.89%
County8.37%
Fire Districts6.11%
Road District5.50%
Rural Library District2.42%
EMS Districts2.39%
Port of Bellingham2.01%
Flood Control Zone1.33%
Affordable Housing0.72%
County Park & Rec0.33%
Conservation Futures0.31%
Cemetery Districts0.18%
Hospital Districts0.08%

“We have also made some minor changes to the 2020 tax statement form itself,” Oliver said. “Most importantly, we are providing two new window return envelopes. Please make sure that the County Treasurer’s return address shows through this window. The return address is on the back of each payment coupon. We will be using the USPS Intelligent Mail system that will allow us to track your tax payment from the time it enters the US mail system to when we receive it. By using the provided window return envelopes, taxpayers will have the assurance that we can research their payment if it becomes lost or delayed. Unfortunately, lost or delayed mail does happen in the USPS mail system.”

Property tax details for Ferndale-centric tax districts (dollar values in millions):

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2020
Property ValuesTax CollectedRate
Whatcom County Fire District 7
Levy$5,202.44$5.981.149
Bond$5,160.02$0.250.048
Ferndale School District
Levy$5,252.61$11.402.170
Bond$5,253.26$7.461.419
City of Ferndale
Current Expense$1,764.60$1.740.99
General Obligations Bond$1,743.17$0.060.04

The same data from 2019 for comparison (dollar values in millions):

2019
Property ValuesTax CollectedRate
Whatcom County Fire District 7
Levy$4,728.44 $5.74 1.215
Bond
Ferndale School District
Levy$4,784.71 $6.92 1.445
Bond$4,785.32 $3.72 0.778
City of Ferndale
Current Expense$1,589.87 $1.22 0.769
General Obligations Bond$1,570.17 $0.06 0.041

For historical comparison for all of Whatcom County (dollar values in millions):

1975200920192020
Tax Collected$24.6$227.4$324.2$370.7
Property Value$ 1,150.5$24,264.8$32,203.5$35,560.4
Net Tax Rate2.14%0.94%1.01%1.04%

If you own a house or mobile home that is your primary residence, are at least 61-years-old or disabled and have an annual income of $42,043 or less, you may be entitled to a property tax exemption. Forms are available in the Whatcom County Assessor’s office (311 Grand Avenue, Bellingham, on the first floor of the County Courthouse) or from their website at www.whatcomcounty.us/assessor.  Contact the Assessor’s office at 360-778-5050 for further information.

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