The following table and chart demonstrates the exponential growth of  the state property tax levy. Prior to 1996, the State Legislature automatically took the maximum allowable increase. The State Levy was exempted by statute from any public hearings determining the percentage of increase. In 1996, after extensive lobbying by the Washington State Assessor’s Association, the State Legislature limited the increase of the state property tax levy. In 1997 the Assessors were back at the legislature urging restraint. Finally with Referendum 47, the limit factor for the State Levy was reduced from an automatic 6% to a 1.15% in 1998 and a .85% (eighty-five one hundredths of one percent) in 1999. This limitation is determined by the calculation of the IPD (acronym for the implicit price deflator for personal consumption expenditures for the United States as published for the most recent twelve month period by the bureau of economic analysis of the federal department of commerce in September of the year before the taxes are payable). Had there been no reduction in the automatic increase, the total accumulated difference in collections for the State Levy would have grown by another $961,882,782, almost as much as much as was collected in 1994.


Maximum Allowed by Statutes Previous to Referendum 47

Actual Collections



































Total Accumulated Difference