October 10, 1997 in City

Gates Will Pay All Of Property Tax Bill Microsoft Billionaire Drops Challenges To Assessment Of His Lakefront Mansion

J. Martin Mcomber The Seattle Times
 

Bill and Melinda Gates have decided not to take on the tax collector after all.

Reports had it that Gates and his wife thought King County’s assessment of the lakefront mansion they moved into last month was a wee bit high at $53.4 million.

But the Microsoft founder decided to pay the tax bill of more than $600,000 rather than challenge the assessment, said company spokesman John Pinette.

“They plan on paying their taxes like everyone else,” he said.

The county based the assessment on what it cost to build the 40,000-square-foot mansion, while Gates initially maintained the value should reflect what the home would sell for on the market.

After seven years of construction, the couple moved into their new house last month.

The couple loves the place, but not everything has gone smoothly, Gates conceded during a speech Tuesday at Cambridge University in England.

Apparently there are still a few bugs lurking in the 50 Windows NT computer systems that control everything from the temperature and lighting to the digital artwork and stereo.

“You know, it’s a little difficult right now, first moving in,” Gates told the students. “Sometimes it plays music I want, sometimes it plays something else.”

Could it be the Beatles’ “Taxman”?


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