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Homeowners Share Anger

When Kootenai County mailed out its property assessments this year, many homeowners groaned. Assessments, which officials say were behind market value for the past few years, shot up an average of 28 percent.

Some homeowners called The Spokesman Review’s Cityline to vent their frustrations. Here are some of their comments:

“My house value increased by 25 percent. I haven’t put 25 percent worth of improvement into the house since last year,” said Craig Frei. “I just feel that the assessor’s office is getting a little bit carried away.”

“What I find really unfair is that it doesn’t matter what you paid for your home. Your taxes are assessed on what somebody else is willing to pay for their place,” said Tom Johnson, whose Hayden Lake value rose 98 percent. “If this continues one more time, we’ll be forced out of our home. I didn’t buy a $300,000 home, but now I live in one.”

“My taxes this year were horrendous,” said Terri Kepler of Hayden Lake. “I think they’re completely out of proportion with the whole state.”

“The assessed value irritates me a lot,” said Chris Meyling. “But what irritates me the most is that I don’t know where my money is being spent.”“There are a lot of services I don’t get, but

I have to pay the high taxes,” said Ron Swank, who lives north of Hayden Lake. “I don’t think that’s right.”

“My lot has all of a sudden changed from a non-view property to a ‘limited view property,’ which resulted in an increase of $16,000 to the lot alone,” said Brad Robinson. “I talked with the appraiser and I found him to be very courteous and very thorough. He showed me where there was one sale in the neighborhood that increased the values for all of us. One sale in the past year.”

“We bought our house in 1962,” said Betty Sparks. “Now we’re retired, on a set income, and it looks like we may have to leave our home that we’ve lived in all these years, and make room for people coming in with a lot of money. It just doesn’t seem fair. We live in an old house. I was born and raised here. Where do I go?”

, DataTimes