Mercer Island resident and businessman Harley H. Hoppe dies

Harley H. Hoppe, a former King County assessor, fought long and hard for fair tax assessments for property owners.  - Reporter File Photo
Harley H. Hoppe, a former King County assessor, fought long and hard for fair tax assessments for property owners.
— image credit: Reporter File Photo

Former King County assessor and champion of property owners and taxpayers, Harley H. Hoppe died in his sleep on Monday morning, May 13, at his home on Mercer Island.

Hoppe owned Harley H. Hoppe & Associates, a property tax service on Mercer Island, for nearly 30 years.

Prior to opening his business, Hoppe spent a dozen years as King County assessor, when he administered property tax laws and assessment procedures. He brought that experience to his successful property tax appeal business on 77th Avenue S.E. that counted dozens of Islanders as clients.

Hoppe also ran unsuccessfully for governor in 1974, but carried all of the smaller counties in Washington state.

The politician and businessman loved horses.

Hoppe, a Thoroughbred racehorse owner for more than 50 years, amassed an illustrious racing career that included several stakes winners such as all-time favorite Red Eye Express, an eight-time stakes winner and runner-up in the 1974 Longacres Mile and considered one of Longacres’ greatest sprinters. Along with Red Eye Express, Hoppe and trainer Howard Belvoir joined forces on numerous racehorses in a partnership that dated back to 1964. At Emerald Downs, Hoppe and Belvoir teamed with Mulcahy, voted ‘Top 3-Year-Old Male’ of 2007.

Two years ago, Hoppe held an 80th birthday party for himself at Emerald Downs. He invited hundreds of friends from all walks of his life, from clients such as actor Tom Skerritt to employees of the Mercer Island Albertsons store.

Belvoir said his longtime partner and friend would be missed.

“He was a great man,” Belvoir said. “He was one of my first clients. We’d been together a long time.”

His wife, Teresa; daughters, Elizabeth, Amy and Susan; grandchildren, Justelle, Brayden and Alia; and half-sister Rosemary Andrews survive him.

Services have been held.


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