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Properties slump, taxes jump

I’m probably as dismayed as anyone the way property values have dropped the past few years. I was disheartened last year when the Spokane County assessor notified me that the assessed value on my home dropped almost $25,000 from 2009 to 2010.

The one calming factor was my belief that at least my property taxes would go down this year. Of course, that meant government would have less money to spend. But what the heck, I’m getting by with less, and decided so could they. How naive of me.

Reality came full force when I received my 2011 tax bill. To my dismay, my property taxes had actually gone up, not down as I had expected. How could this be? Surely the assessor’s office had made a mistake!

But wait! The various governments don’t have to worry about falling property values. The assessor’s office has the proverbial ace up one’s sleeve: the levy rate. Yep, it was increased 1.41 points to make up for the lost revenue.

The resale value on my home is now down about $55,000, so I’m optimistic that my taxes will increase again next year.

Robyn Benjamin



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