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Island property assessments up an average of 11 percent

On July 31st, King County Assessor Lloyd Hara’s office mailed the 2014 property valuations to all residential property owners on Mercer Island.

For many, the new assessment values will be a bit of a surprise.

Mercer Island residential property values generally increased more than ten percent on average, but the assessor’s office points out that  individual property values might vary.

Residential property is assessed each year at 100 percent of its true and fair market value in money, which is defined by Washington State law as the amount of money that a willing and “unobligated” buyer is willing to pay a willing and unobligated seller. Residential values are determined based on multiple sales of similar properties.

The King County Assessor’s Office annually revalues all properties and conducts a physical inspection on each property once every six years. This year, Island properties and neighborhoods were physically inspected.

The last physical inspection of the Mercer Island area was conducted in 2008.

King County Assessor Hara will host a town hall meeting on Mercer Island between 6 and 8 p.m. Thursday, August 14, to describe the process and to provide information on property valuation appeals.

But in a nutshell, Hara explained that the upward trend is linked to the end of the recession.

“Continuing the 2013 trend, property values are increasing across King County as we emerge from the ‘Great Recession,’” said Hara. “In 2013, we saw an increase in home values in 76 out of 86 residential areas in King County and we expect to see continued growth in residential values for 2014.”

The assessor’s office knows that homeowners will have questions about the new values.

Property owners are urged to carefully review the information contained in the valuation notice. If you believe a mistake has been made in valuing your property, it is recommended that you contact the assessor’s office directly before filing an appeal at 296-7300 or assessor.info@kingcountygov.

There are several ways property owners can review their property information. They can go online to eReal Property and review area reports on the assessor’s homepage at www.kingcounty.gov/assessor. They can also consult the assessor’s staff to make sure an error has not been made. King County allows 60 days from the valuation’s postmark date to file an appeal with the King County Board of Equalizations.

Some are eligible for a property tax deferral or exemption. The King County Assessor’s Office encourages you or those you know to contact its office to determine eligibility.

The assessor’s office will continue to mail out more than 600,000 valuation notices to taxpayers throughout the rest of King County through October.

Town Hall with King Co Assessor is Thursday

King County Assessor Lloyd Hara is holding a Town Hall meeting to discuss the recent round of property valuation determinations for Island property owners.  The assessor’s office conducted a visual inspection of Island property this year.

The meeting, which will provide information on how to file an appeal, begins at 6 p.m., Thursday August 14, in the Mercer Room at the Mercer Island Community and Events Center.

 

For taxpayers who need advice and assistance on property tax related matters, including appeals, contact the King County Tax Advisor at 477-1060 or by email at taxadvisor@kingcounty.gov .

 

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