I want to invite you to take a nice walk thru Georgetown. Look at the houses on Corson and Carlton. I am not sure about Flora and Ellis. Notice all the houses are different. There are some beauties. Some are small and plain. Everyone is assessed at $1,000 ( one thousand dollars). Zillow prices varies but are between $200,000 and $350,000), Fire insurance appraisers set the price close to the Zillow price.
The assessor that did this was Scott Noble. After he got himself into some serious trouble and arrested, we had four assessors in 5 months. Appeals were nightmares and totally useless. The Department of Assessments actually wiped out single family homes. They call all of our homes tear downs. They want us to build 8 unit condos. I appealed but the only defense you can present is evidence the assessor has erred in doing the appraisal. My argument was you would have to be drunk or crazy to say every house along at these two streets are only worth a thousand dollars. They said I had to bring proof of sales around me. No house beside me, behind me, in front of me had been sold. Every house in this entire neighborhood had been declared identical and worthless. I lost my appeal. The reason was “It is the assessors job to tax on the highest and best use”. Single family dwellings are not the best use. The best use is tear our house down and put up an 8 unit condo. The state of course owns vacant land, pays no tax and doesn’t build condo’s on theirs. I also argued that you cant buy a Tuff Shed for $1,000. Just a total time waster to appeal. The value of the land went from $60,000 to $320,000. In other words we are being taxed right out of our $1,000 home.
This presents another boondoggle. Fire Insurance appraisers actually come and go thru the houses. They talk you into taking replacement value. This means if my house burns down they will replace it, not give me money or replace the house on a lot I can afford to pay taxes on. I would never build a new little house on a $320,000 lot here in Georgetown. So Fire Insurance is actually worthless. I am not sure the city would issue a permit to build a single family dwelling. If you go down to try to talk to them you are more or less shown the way back out of the building and told to file certain forms. From then on you are lost in Electronic Dead Ends. Something is very wrong here but none of us residents can find a way to fix it. It appears the appraiser took on the role of a Land Use Change without having to hold a hearing.
Today in the mail I get a letter from King County Sound Insulation Program. They want to come and insulate my house free to block out the noise of airplanes. If the state is broke, why would they spend thousands to insulate my THOUSAND DOLLAR HOUSE that I have lived in for 65 years and the appraiser wants me to tear down? Not real urgent. Wait until the state is not in debt.
I also got a notice from WSDOT that they will be repaving my street soon. My goodness if the state is broke why would you repave a street that doesn’t even need it. Please do not send the men in little white coats. This stupid stuff is true. State is not broke, they just cant figure out how to spend all the money.