By now, Washington County’s 96,986 property tax notices have landed in mailboxes, and the numbers confirm a trend seen statewide: the burden is shifting back to residential property owners as their home values continue to rebound.

In advance of upcoming community truth-in-taxation hearings before numbers are finalized, county commissioners at a workshop last week delved into the numbers for a closer examination of how that burden is shifting.

The estimated market value of all property in Washington County — the starting point for calculating everybody’s property tax bills — is $27.8 billion for 2015. That’s an increase of just more than 12 percent, and marks the second consecutive year values have increased after five years of declines in the Great Recession.

“That’s the first double-digit increase since 2007, and it’s the second-highest increase in the past 25 years,” said Joanne Helm, division manager with the county’s Property Records and Taxpayer Services Department.

But values for different types of properties — residential, commercial and apartments — are not increasing at the same rate, meaning the newly calculated share of the property tax burden is not evenly divided. Adding to the complexity, property values shift differently among cities and townships, and school districts and other taxing entities have their own levies, so numbers are not uniform across the board — though the report reviewed last week breaks down the numbers in detail (it’s at

Regardless, the data clearly show that homeowners are benefiting from the increase in property values, and are paying a greater share in taxes as a result.

The median value for residential properties in Washington County rose nearly 14 percent for 2015. The median tax increase for both the county’s share of property taxes and total property taxes (that includes schools, cities, watershed districts, etc.) were each about 7 percent. The median tax increase for residential property across the county amounted to $182.

But the median value for both commercial property and apartments didn’t change between last year and 2015, Helm said. As a result, median property taxes for commercial property will actually decline by 3.87 percent, and those for apartment building owners will fall by 5.9 percent.

Being medians, those numbers vary widely across the county.

Households in Scandia that are part of the Chisago Lakes School District had the highest median tax increase in the county at 16.4 percent ($489), due in part to a school levy. Oak Park Heights and Hugo each had median tax increases topping 14 percent ($292 and $285, respectively). Dellwood (4.8 percent), Birchwood (3.2 percent) and Newport (1.7 percent) saw the greatest decline.

As far as median market value for residential property, Scandia, Stillwater, Hugo and Oak Park Heights gained the most with increases of 18 to 20 percent. Median market home values in Newport, Dellwood and Birchwood saw the smallest increases, from 1 to 3 percent, and values in Landfall were unchanged.

In the seven-county metro area, Washington County’s median proposed tax of $673 for 2015 is second-lowest, behind Dakota County. Ramsey County’s is the highest at $1,293, and Hennepin County is next at $1,026.