YOUR | LETTERS-April 7, 2010
Challenging real estate tax assessment a waste of time for all those involved
If you feel the urge to attempt a property tax appeal, I would recommend jousting at a windmill instead.
On June 5, 2008 I received a “Change of Value Notice” from my friendly assessor. I was surprised to see in one of the worst real estate markets in recent history, my 1200 square foot, 1965 house was being assessed 23 percent higher, an increase of $247,000 to $304,000.
I called the assessors office. I was told that they saw no clerical errors and if I had a problem with the increase, I would need to file an appeal to the Board of Equalization.
On December 8, 2009 I took time off work to plead my case.
The process is a formal affair with two mature ladies operating an ancient tape recording device, assessors to my left, three members from the board of equalization across and big old microphones for all.
The Assessor essentially says, “Our model is good.” I say here are comparisons properties, here is Zillow and look at the size of increase in a down market. Assessor essentially says “so what” here is our model. Everyone is thanked and I am told that a decision will be mailed to me.
December 31, 2009 I get a letter stating there would be no change.
The tally: 17 months and 20 hours. Apparently property values, in down real estate markets, go up by 23 percent.
How can the state and county be out of money? I think I am sending 23 percent more than a fair share with zero additional service required from this residence.
In fact, the services required are the same as when my great grandfather lived in this house in 1965.
Next time I have the urge to appeal my assessment, I am going to look for a windmill instead.
Health care, loans have nothing in common
First if someone can explain to me how student loans and health care are similar (same bill), I will give you props.
Apparently the federal government has decided to slip into the 2000+ page National Health Care bill a provision where they will control and therefore provide all student college loans.
The idea wouldn’t pass in a stand-alone bill so it was “quietly” put in the health care bill and now the federal government will control who gets college student loans, I would love to say I am shocked but not after the other times they have slipped unrelated provisions in other bills.
I also see where proponents of the bill compare car insurance with health insurance mandate. Driving is a privilege and car insurance is something we pay for that privilege, but life isn’t a privilege (it is a right). Has anyone seen our common sense, it left town with the circus.
Lake Stevens High School
boys basketball team brings integrity, honor to Lake Stevens
I really didn’t miss the Sonics until the first week of March 2010. The reason is that for the past two years, we’ve been spoiled watching the Lake Stevens High School Boys’ Basketball team.
My family and I attended every game for the past two years; both home and on the road. We were privileged to watch a group of young men play the game the way it was supposed to be played.
They worked as a unit and developed an unspoken language between them. They didn’t have a superstar; they were just a group of smart kids who understood the power of teamwork. They epitomized synergy; the whole that they created was greater than the sum of the individual parts.
It was a joy to attend their games and root for them. From their fifth place finish at State in 2009, to the Conference and District championships this year, it was a ride we will remember for the rest of our lives.
Beyond the wins and the trophies, however, was the fact that this was a good group of kids. They represented our community with honor and integrity. They never backed down from a challenge, and never lost their cool.
They possessed a work ethic, and commitment that was well beyond their years. Their grit and determination will undoubtedly serve them well for the rest of their lives.
It is really hitting home now that we will never see this group of players together representing the hometown again. I felt compelled to write a letter to offer my thanks. Thank you for the thrill, and exhilaration of a fantastic voyage. Go Lake!
John, Stacy, and Tyler Burke