Whenever I’ve visited our county treasurer or assessor with questions or disagreements, I have come away with a new understanding.
Maybe not agreement, but an understanding, like, the use of 5-year-old sales as “comparables”.
Then my tax bill arrived. I just cannot understand it. Up almost $700 — 11.35 percent. Holy Cow.
I can see where the money goes – except for the 5th largest amount, described as “Other”. But our taxable property value is down 7.5 percent. I thought we had a 1-percent cap on property tax increases?
Maybe you add the 1 percent to the 7.5 percent; that’s 8.5 percent. But my bill went up 11.35 percent?
Oh, but assessment/fees did not increase, therefore taxes are really up 11.53 percent… oh, oh… it says "Voter Approved Taxes" (I thought all taxes were voter approved after the cap law) down by $213, that’s a 12.69 percent decrease… but they’re only 22 percent of the total bill, therefore it’s got to be non-voter approved, non-assessment/fees?
Wow. That’s it… up 20.92 percent... and it’s not going to the state or EMS, both are down a little.
Oh yeah, we did pass a “levy lift”, but we voted for that, so it’s not in the 20.92 percent. It’s got to be in the minus 12.69 percent…? Oh God, Frank, it’s all really just a communication problem, I said.
Maybe if I send a note to Scott (Journal editor Scott Rasmussen), he’s a good communication guy at The Journal. Would he publish this?
Can we find someone who can simplify my understanding of this tax bill? In a simple way, for someone who may be getting simple minded?
Or maybe I shouldn’t tell anyone because they may think my 11.35 percent increase is a good deal compared to what is happening to their tax bill.
Oh, just mail the note.
Frank Fagan/San Juan Island