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LETTER TO THE EDITOR | Residents wait for a tax refund
We are sure there are other Island County property taxpayers who share our frustration.
Have you been a visitor to the Board of Equalization and had a property tax reduction in your favor? We had our BOE hearing over two years ago now. The result of the hearing yielded a sizable reduction and also the promise of a substantial tax refund. After six months of waiting for a refund, we inquired as to the refund through the Island County Treasurer’s office. We were told they were short staffed and very behind on processing the refunds. After being assured that the refund would certainly be received within the next few months we waited … and waited … and waited.
Several emails to the treasurer and our local commissioner, we heard the same excuse. Both officials stated that it certainly shouldn’t take beyond a year and a half and certainly well before two years; after all, money was appropriated for additional staffing.
Well folks, it has been over two years now. Finally, we received a form to sign and return in order to process the refund. We were assured in an email from the treasurer that the refund check would be processed and we should expect the check within about two weeks. Once again, we waited. Confirming that our request form for refund was received, we were told it made it to the Treasurer’s Office on Oct. 23. Again, a call to the Treasurer’s Office and we were told our check would probably be in the Nov. 25 or Dec. 3 run. By Dec. 5, after no refund check, we inquired again. This time we were told the check would likely be mailed out about Dec. 17.
A business would be soon out of business if it were run the way the county manages its affairs. Perhaps, if the Assessor’s Office would accurately assign property tax valuations, the Treasurer’s Office would not be so over burdened with refunds. Also, the BOE would breathe a sigh of relief with the load reduction.
Side note, our assessor is now valuing our stretch of waterfront properties at a standard $400,000, no matter if it is a 50 or 100-foot piece of property. Make sense? Perhaps we should clean house at the county.