June 23, 2008
Kiss My Assessment!
According to the folks at www.cyberhomes.com, my house's value has dropped $112,000 since June 2007. My neighbor has been trying to sell his house since October 2006, dropping the price several times along the way, to no avail. Ah, but clearly Spokane County has a rosier outlook for the market than all those pesky statisitcs would support.
I received my tax assessment for 2008 from the county assessor's office on Friday. Despite the insurmountable evidence to the contrary, somehow my assessment remained UNCHANGED this year. I guess that means that if I could theoretically sell my house for the assessment amount. BUT WAIT...
My neighbor's house is quite similar to mine, and he's had it listed for almost the same amount as my assessment for over six months. Forgive me if I'm wrong, but isn't the assessment supposed to be roughly equal to the fair market value of a house? If so, how can the county justify NO CHANGE from last year to this???
After reading the accompanying article from CNN Money, I think I understand now. If assessments go down, tax revenue goes down. If tax revenue goes down, budget shortfalls increase. If budget shortfalls increase, budget cuts must follow, and people start losing their jobs. So it seems to me the only reason my assessment didn't change from 2007 is that the assessor is trying to keep his (and everyone else's) job intact. Does that sound like a conspiracy theory or am I on to something here?
I've read that in some areas of the country, county assessors are so inundated with appeals that they've had to add dozens of contract employees to keep up. So at the same time values are being adjusted downward, expenses are going up. No governmental entity that I know of has enough cash reserves to weather that kind of storm.
What about you? Are tax assessments in line with reality where you live? Do you have the time and energy to fight the system if you think the assessments are unfair? Or are you, like me, willing to suck it up and pay a little more than probably necessary to avoid upsetting the apple cart?
I know this blog has nothing to do with selling your real estate note, but every once in a while I get off on a tangent. There are plenty of other blogs on the site that address most all aspects of selling a note. You are also welcome to call us anytime at 866-762-1415 to discuss.
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