EPHRATA, Wash. — Grant County Tax Assessor Laure Grammer said last week she is at least two years behind paying her own property taxes.
County records show she owes $8,760 on property at 506 Castle Drive in Moses Lake.
“It is a fact that my property taxes on both my properties have not been paid for the past couple of years,” she stated in part. “This is an unfortunate set of circumstances that will be corrected quite soon.”
She added the situation was not newsworthy and no laws were violated, but didn’t elaborate.
In a prepared statement, she wrote she had every faith in her “financial” that the issue would be corrected.
When asked for more details, Grammer said she was too busy to comment and the accusation, although true, is part of a smear campaign against her.
County Commissioner Richard Stevens said county Treasurer Darryl Pheasant told them more than a month ago that Grammer was behind on her property taxes.
“I brought it to her attention to make sure that she was aware of it. She told me how she is going to take care of it and I think that she will,” Pheasant said.
“We have a lot of people out there in that position. We have 460 something parcels that owe taxes from 2011 and back.”
He said those parcels are in risk of court actions and possible auction. Because she does not owe taxes beyond 2011, her property is not subject to auction or legal action, he said.
Stevens said when she pays her taxes, she is going to have to pay the penalties and interest just like everyone else.
“It’s her business, not mine. I imagine she has her reasons,” he said.
County Commissioner Cindy Carter, who owns a more than 2,000-acre farm near Royal City, said she makes an effort to pay taxes every year.
“I think it’s the duty of every citizen whether they’re elected officials or not to pay their property taxes,” Carter said.