Taxation without representation appears to be alive and looming in Stevens County. In late November, property assessment notices were sent out that seriously increased the property values of many residents. Those notices resulted in an outcry not heard recently, largely because of the current poor economy and many residents being on fixed incomes.
As USA Today reported on Dec. 4, nationwide home values have dropped 3.9 percent for the last two consecutive years, and a local Realtor has reported that home values have dropped 30 percent over the last five years. It would appear the Assessor’s Office ignored this trend.
Property valuation increases of over $200,000 were heard at a civilized but occasionally contentious meeting recently in Loon Lake. This meeting followed a similar meeting, noted for its disagreements, in Kettle Falls earlier in the month. As a result of voter discontent, the hectic pace of the holidays, and the large number of people still considering appeals to the Stevens County Board of Equalization, there has been an extension from Jan. 6 to Feb. 6 for appeals to be filed. They are beginning to hear us!
Gee, sounds almost like a tea party-like response to perceived governmental overreach.
E. J. “Charlie” Dormer
Loon Lake, Wash.