In brief: 1,780 property tax assessments appealed
About 1,780 appeals of property tax assessments have been filed with the Spokane County Board of Equalization for the 2007-2008 tax season, which officially starts Monday.
The number is up substantially from the 2006-07 season, when about 1,500 appeals were filed, but up only slightly from the 1,739 appeals filed in the 2005-2006 season. The number fluctuates for a variety of reasons, not limited to rising property values. Nearly 3,000 appeals were filed one year in the early 1990s, according to Linda Kovick, staff director for the Board of Equalization. A lot of businesses with multiple parcels of land filed appeals that year, she recalled.
Assessed values are up about 14 percent this year, compared with approximately 16 percent last year, according to Assessor Ralph Baker, who mailed some 160,000 revaluation notices on June 1.
Recipients had until July 2 to appeal, but Kovick said at least two more mailings with later deadlines mean she won’t know the total number of appeals until mid-August.
The later mailings – notices that were delayed for various reasons – are much smaller than the June 1 batch.
Kovick said the Board of Equalization – which works about 16 hours a week throughout the year – is “right on track” and wrapping up last year’s appeals. The board will begin hearing this year’s appeals after Labor Day, in the order the appeals were filed.
That gives Baker’s staff two months to try to resolve some of the disputes.
Police will air ‘Use of Force’ show
The Spokane Police Department has produced the first edition of “SPD TV,” a program that will air on CityCable Channel 5.
Each month, the department will select a topic and educate the public on police tactics, training and special units, Cpl. Tom Lee said.
This month the show features “Use of Force” in which Cpl. Dave Adams hosts and discusses how Spokane police officers are trained to engage in physical contact, restrain a suspect, use a Taser, or decide to use a gun.
“Use of Force” will air 18 times in July on CityCable 5, the first one at 8:30 p.m. today, repeating at 10 a.m. Sunday, 8 p.m. Tuesday and 11 a.m. Wednesday. For the rest of July’s schedule, check the city’s Web site at www.spokanecity.org or the department’s Web site at www.spokanepolice.org.