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Friday, June 02, 2006

Spokane Increases Line County Pockets

Proud homeowners over in Spokane have been gleefully enjoying price increases similar to those in Seattle the last few years, and now the local government is gleefully cashing in.

The Spokane County assessor's office mailed notices this week to the owners of 176,000 parcels that the worth of their property has changed, mostly upward. Values increased an average of 16.2 percent across the county.

The increase followed last year's surge of 15.1 percent in property taxes.

"We've had a very, very vibrant real estate market," said Spokane County Assessor Ralph Baker. "This year, I think, will go down as an extraordinary year."

The local numbers are comparable to price increases throughout the Northwest.
So let's see if I can make a list of all the people that think it's just extraordinary when housing prices soar (even while wages are flat). County & city government officials, homeowners, real estate agents, mortgage brokers, and Elizabeth Rhodes. Did I miss anyone?

(Associated Press, Seattle P-I, 06.02.2006)


Anonymous said...

extraordinary (adj.): beyond what is ordinary or usual; highly unusual or exceptional or remarkable

ummmm.......i think it's extraordinary and i am no bull on the housing market.

The Tim said...

connotation (noun): the suggesting of a meaning by a word apart from the thing it explicitly names or describes

Anonymous said...

Dude, he is an assessor. It's his job to reflect the market. How would you classify a 16.2%? Ominous? Inclement? Depressed? You think it would more inline with his job if he described it as "a credit and speculation fueled buying frenzy that is going to end in disaster!!!" He also calls the market vibrant or "vigorous and animated". What would you care to infer from that one?

Here is Mr. Baker's categorization of it in another interview: "The market the last couple of years has been really moving," Baker said. "What we do by law is we assess values at 100 percent of market value. What people would pay for your home."

He's an elected public official bound by his job to perform a task. Yes, higher property valuations lead to a higher tax base, provided that there is not an adjusted levy to offset an increase.

Mission: Our mission is to provide fair and accurate real and personal property parcel assessments and timely lawful adjustments to those assessments legally appropriate. We also maintain accurate mapping of real property parcels and provide friendly helpful customer service to all citizens.

Services: Services

Revalue all real property parcels to market value annually.
Inspect all real property parcels at least once every 6 years.

Mike said...

I believe Initiative 747 caps the city budget to a 1% increase. So, while the assessed values go up, the tax rate per $1000 of assessed value goes down, and the tax bill is roughly 1% more than the previous year. Some areas may go up faster in appreciation and those homeowners may see greater than a 1% increase in their tax bill. New construction is an exception and bumps up each city's total tax income.

I've found this to be much more fair than CA's prop 13. WA's I-747 benefits long-time homeowners only slightly through lower assessments. A new home buyer can expect to pay as much taxes as the next guy if their houses are comparable.

Anonymous said...

Homeowners should not be SO gleeful about rapid appreciation. It just pushes their taxes up.

Home SELLERS, now that's a different story.

Anonymous said...

Steve Wozcniak (sp?), the Apple computer guy, just reduced the price of his home in So. Cal. from 24 MIL to 16 MIL.

Heard about it on CNBC today. Nice house!

The new owner will see their taxes go down.

Jackson Wallace said...

appreciating values in nowhereland.....ok, that makes a lot of sense.
Is spokane booming. last I checkd a year ago, there was a lot of
old crappy houses for cheap there.

Eleua said...

Did I miss anyone?

Federal Reserve Governors
Retailers (heloc money)
Communist China