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Tax revenue grows in area

Benton and Franklin counties will see more property tax revenue growth than the state this year.

Benton County property tax revenue grew by about 4.3 percent while Franklin County saw an increase of 3.4 percent, according to data recently released by the Washington State Department of Revenue.

Washington overall saw an increase of 1.6 percent to about $9.3 billion for 2012.

Benton County's property tax revenue is expected to be about $168.8 million this year while Franklin County's will be about $66.7 million.

Property tax revenue collected by the county is distributed to the state and different taxing districts, including school districts, fire districts, cities, the county, ports and the Mid-Columbia Libraries district.

While property tax revenue is capped at a 1 percent increase each year, the cap doesn't include new construction, state assessed utilities and voter-approved initiatives.

Franklin County added $139 million in new construction last year, while Benton County added about $361 million, according to county officials.

The assessed value in Benton and Franklin counties also bucked the state trend, showing growth instead of the 3.9 percent decline the state saw to a total of $792.6 billion.

Benton County's assessed value grew about 5.6 percent to $14.7 billion, while Franklin County's went up about 2.8 percent to $5.2 billion.

The second half of property taxes are due no later than Oct. 31.

Here is what area counties saw:

w Adams County's property tax revenue went up by 4.8 percent to $20.9 million and assessed value grew 1.2 percent to $1.6 billion.

w Columbia County's property tax revenue dropped by 5.1 percent to $6.9 million and assessed value increased by 1.4 percent to $618 million.

w Grant County's property tax revenue grew by 1.5 percent to $110.8 million and assessed value declined by 3.1 percent to $8.8 billion.

w Walla Walla County's property tax revenue increased by 1.4 percent to $61.4 million and assessed value inched up by 0.6 percent to $4.9 billion

w Yakima County's property tax revenue climbed 3.3 percent to $180.2 million and assessed value dipped by 2.6 percent to $14.7 billion.

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