Frequently Asked Questions about
Annexing to Tumwater
Annexation Brochure (pdf)
The City of Tumwater welcomes existing neighborhoods to the City through annexation. The following information is intended to answer the most often asked questions about annexation. If you are interested in annexing to the City of Tumwater, please read the following information and then call the Planning and Facilities Department at (360) 754-4210.
Who can annex to Tumwater?
Land may be annexed into the City if: 1) it is located within Tumwaters Urban Growth Area, 2) it is contiguous to City limits, 3) the annexation is consistent with the Citys Annexation Policy.
Why annex to Tumwater?
The reasons most often cited include:
City water and sewer services
Improved police and fire protection
Accessible elected officials
Opportunities to serve on boards and commissions
Little or no change in property taxes
How are taxes different in Tumwater than in unincorporated Thurston County?
Note: State law requires that bonds for fire stations and other capital facilities cannot be removed from properties until they are paid off, even if annexed.
The taxing district in which a specific property is located determines property taxes. Thurston County road and fire district taxes would no longer be collected after an annexation, and would be replaced by Tumwaters regular and voted bonded indebtedness assessments. Property owners should contact the Thurston County Assessors Office at (360) 786-5410 to determine how annexation would affect their property taxes.
What is bonded indebtedness?
Tumwater voters have elected to support various projects by raising money through approval of general obligation bonds. Bond payments are added to your property taxes. Current City bonds include those approved for construction of Tumwater Library and the Headquarters Fire Station. Bonded indebtedness is assumed by newly annexed properties and must be paid from the time of annexation until the bond is paid.
What are my options for receiving water and/or sewer service?
Generally, if property is located outside of the City and the owner wants to receive City sewer or water service, the property must be annexed into the City.
How would police and fire services be different?
Tumwater police services would be available to your neighborhood immediately after annexation. The Tumwater Police Department provides a minimum of 2 and up to 6 police officers at any one time to cover the Citys 10 square miles. In comparison, Thurston County Sheriffs deputies are responsible for covering much larger areas.
The Tumwater Fire Department would assume fire protection responsibility for your neighborhood after annexation. Most unincorporated areas are protected by a rural fire district. While volunteers generally support rural fire districts, the Tumwater Fire Department provides a career staff 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Who to contact for more information:
Contact the City of Tumwater Community Development Department, Long Range Planning Divsion at (360) 754-4210 for more details on how begin an annexation process.
Back to Annexations
January 10, 2013