Posted by: S-Crow

"S-Crow" (Tim Kane) is co-owner (with spouse Lynlee, LPO-Designated escrow Officer) of Legacy Escrow Service, Inc., an authentic independent escrow firm closing residential purchase/sale and refinance transactions.

13 responses to “How-To: Challenge Your Property Taxes”

  1. Scotsman

    I wonder how long this will be possible. Eventually the county will recognize that declining values and the resultant declines in revenue are going to put them in a fiscal bind. I know that the law is the law, but something’s going to have to give.

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  2. ElPolloLoco

    In other news, the WSP is starting to do something I’ve never seen them do before: hide. Pretty clear what their marching orders are.

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  3. James Lupori

    I would be curious to see how successful property owners will be in fighting city hall about property taxes. I wrote a quick post on my blog at the end of January:

    http://kenmore.neighborhoodsundressed.com/2009/01/30/property-taxes-rise-in-2009-no-correlation-between-property-value-and-tax-bills/

    The Assessors office seems to be sending a message that our taxes are not going down any time soon.

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  4. Kary L. Krismer

    I had a pretty strong case for appealing, because the valuation went up by about 10% over what I paid less than 2 months prior to the valuation date (January 1, 2008). But for me it wasn’t worth it because if I’d succeeded I would have only saved less than $600.

    Also, don’t assume that your taxes will go up by the amount of your assessment increase. It doesn’t work that way. The property tax assessment on my house went up 9.98%. Despite that, my real estate taxes will be only going up 4.48%. The reason? My tax rate will be actually declining from 1.198% to 1.138%

    You can determine your own situation by looking at the 3rd and 4th links from the bottom here: http://www.kingcounty.gov/Assessor/PropertyTax.aspx

    and by determining your tax area here: https://payments.metrokc.gov/metrokc.ecommerce.propertytaxweb/PropertySearch.aspx

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  5. David Losh

    “if you have the means to reach out and support them, do it.”

    This is the best thing this site has said.

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  6. softwarengineer

    SEATTLE HOME OWNERS NEED A STIMULUS RIGHT NOW

    Not more property taxes causing rent increases too.

    Its time for our local government to start laying off teachers, police, office administrators, etc, just like the other 90-95% of the non-government workers are getting laid off. NYC is already slated to lay off 19000 teachers.

    Taxing the remaining workres and the unemployed in Seattle to keep local government in business is simply phony stimulus relief and “We the people” are offended..

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  7. Rhonda Porter

    Tim, this info is so important for home owners… I know the assessed value is based on “past values” so for a while, home owners had lower assessed value than what their home would have appraised for. Now appraisals are coming in lower than assessed value.

    Home owners should create their own personal stimulus and contest their tax assessment if it’s overvalued (and it probably is).

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  8. Kary L. Krismer

    Rhonda, when you consider the fact that the current assessment amounts are based on 1/1/2008 values, there are not really that many assessments that are grossly high. Mine for example is about 10% high, which I would consider on the edge of being grossly high.

    I happen to look at a lot of assessed values reviewing bankruptcy matters, and what I find shocking is how many assessments are grossly low based on prior sale prices. Much more than 10% low! Given the way our tax system works (tax rate determined based on total assessments for all properties), that means the rest of us are paying more for real estate taxes than we should be. But there’s no way for anyone to challenge that. The only ones that get challenged are the ones that are high.

    Zillow seems to look at sale prices when determining their Zestimates. Near as I can tell, the King County Assessor does not. So if they’re wrong on a property, that continues after a sale.

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  9. Weekend News Roundup | Seattle Bubble — News & discussion about real estate & the housing bubble in the Seattle area.

    [...] any Seattle Bubble readers that are considering appealing their assessment that S-Crow posted a useful “how-to” on this process that would be a good starting [...]

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  10. joanie stevens

    If Snohomish County Assessor’s Office took the time to do a property values, they could done the math and decrease the property tax right now, or if it increase. And it could of been in their official notice. So we could have a preveiw so if we need to appeal we could do so.

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  11. S-Crow

    Joanie,

    Snohomish County Property Tax assessments just hit the mail. If you wish to appeal your property taxes as I do, refer to the links in the article for Snohomish Colunty. It is not as arduous a process as people think.

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  12. Kary L. Krismer

    Does http://valueappeal.com/ service Snohomish County?

    BTW, I was just thinking yesterday that Snohomish County has to be a hotbed for appeals, because they always have been high (or at least for the past 4 years). I just looked at one this week where they were off by about 40% (although my valuation was today, not 1/1/2009).

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  13. Why are property tax assessments often so inaccurate? • Seattle Bubble

    [...] assessment is too high? We have covered this topic a couple of times in the past, with posts from our local escrow expert Tim Kane and a guest post from ValueAppeal CEO Charlie Walsh. If you think your assessment is too high, [...]

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