King County Assessor Lloyd Hara was in town Thursday to meet with a group of realtors at John L. Scott and while here also stopped in to visit with the Enumclaw Rotary Club, the Enumclaw Chamber of Commerce and various business owners around the city.
Patch, as a member of the Enumclaw Chamber, was alerted Wednesday to Hara's visit and thought we'd hang out and grab a picture when he met with local business owners Glen Jensen (and Enumclaw city council member), Gary Ross, Stefanie Erickson and Chamber director Kelvin Schipper to talk about local assessments and answer questions about taxes particularly as they pertained to businesses.
As he indicated in February when he spoke with the Courier-Herald (read the story), south King County, including Enumclaw, has lost more value than those areas closer to core job centers.
While in most cases a decrease in property values is also accompanied by an increase in property tax rates, Enumclaw residents did not experience net increased taxes thanks to a substantial rollback of the city tax levy for 2012 ().
From his department, Hara said it was recognized by the International Association of Assessing Officers in 2011 with a Distinguished Assessment Jurisdiction Award for its efforts to contribute "to equity in property taxation."
The department continues its outreach efforts throughout King County and is working on an upgrade of the Assessor's website in the fall with more usable and user-friendly information, he said. (View the site) Note the YouTube videos located 'below the fold' of the homepage that explain commonly asked questions like how properties are assessed and how 2011 numbers came to be.
What questions do you have for the County Assessor's office? You can call 206-296-7300 with questions. Or call the King County Tax Advisor Office at 206-205-6330. This is the County Council's Office of Citizen Complaints-Ombudsman and they answer questions about assessment, taxes, records, and all other things property.