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Property Tax: Understanding the Timeline and Facts


If you're a homeowner, navigating property taxes can sometimes feel like deciphering a complex puzzle. At Upside Properties, we believe in empowering our clients with knowledge, so let's break down some essential facts about property taxes to make this process clearer.

Key Facts to Keep in Mind:

1. Tax Cycle: Property taxes are due twice a year, with each cycle spanning six months:

  • First Half Taxes: Due at the end of April, covering January through June.
  • Second Half Taxes: Due at the end of October, covering July through December.

2. Certification: Current real property taxes are certified by February 15th each year. It's important to note that you cannot pay these taxes before they are certified. If you're involved in a transaction closing before the current year's taxes are certified, prorations will be based on the prior year's tax amount.

3. Assessed Value and Exemptions: Real property taxes are calculated based on the assessed value of the property. However, granted exemptions can reduce the taxable value and the amount due. These exemptions may be removed or extended when the property is sold, or upon the death or vacancy of the seller who received the exemption.

Understanding Proration:

Proration is a crucial concept, especially during property transactions. Here's how it works:

  • Taxes are due in the middle of the period they cover.
  • If you're selling your property, you may receive a refund or pay prorated taxes based on the closing date.
  • For instance, if a sale closes in March:
    • The seller pays for January 1st to the closing date.
    • The buyer pays from the closing date to June 30th.
  • Conversely, a sale in May would result in the seller receiving a refund for prorated taxes from the closing date to the end of June.

1st half taxes: Span from January 1st through June 30th. 2nd half taxes: Span from July 1st through December 31st.

Mark Your Calendars:

Keep these dates in mind to stay on top of your property tax responsibilities:

  • 1st Half Taxes Due: Last day of April.
  • 2nd Half Taxes Due: Last day of October.


At Upside Properties, we're not just about buying and selling homes; we're also here to provide clarity and guidance on the intricacies of real estate. Remember, understanding property taxes is key to making informed decisions about your investment. If you have any questions or need assistance with your real estate journey, feel free to reach out to us. Your trusted Seattle brokerage, dedicated to exceptional service and integrity.





While we strive to provide helpful information, please note that we are not accountants. The content we share is intended for general guidance and informational purposes only. We strongly advise consulting with a qualified tax professional before making any financial decisions or taking actions based on the information provided. Your unique circumstances may require specific advice tailored to your situation.

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