King County Assessor Lloyd Hara to host Town Hall Meeting in Kirkland, Washington

Are you questioning why your property taxes may have gone up?  Many people do.  Every year I get phone calls from neighbors and clients asking me why their taxes have increased.  Most people hope to contest King County's tax assessment if they think the property tax increase is unfair.  Before you decide to contest your taxes, it's a good to know how and why the taxes increase.   As a citizen and tax payer, you'll have an opportunity to meet Lloyd Hara, the King County Tax Assessor, at a town hall meeting. Mr. Hara will discuss the ins and outs of property taxes and how one can make an appeal. 


Below is a a copy of the press release regarding the Town Hall Meeting:


King County Assessor Lloyd Hara from the Department of Assessments will host a town hall meeting on Tuesday, November 12th from 6:00 PM to 7:30 PM to discuss property valuations, taxes and the services the Department of Assessments provides to assist King County property owners. The King County Board of Equalization and Tax Advisor’s Office will also present information on property valuation appeals.


Tuesday, November 12, 2013
6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Kirkland City Hall – Peter Kirk Room
123 5th Ave, Kirkland, WA 98033


This town hall will be an opportunity for residents to learn more about their property assessments and values, senior and disabled exemptions, online services and the appeals process.

"We are beginning to see a recovery in the housing market in King County," said King County Assessor Lloyd Hara. "Though property values continue to decline in selected areas, there are also a number of areas where property values are increasing, including in the City of Seattle and the Eastside.”

Property taxes are mixed in King County for 2013, with property values and property taxes down for many. However, some property owners from will see their property values decline while their property taxes increase, and other property owners will see both their property values increase and property taxes increase.

If you would like more information, please visit the King County Assessor’s website at or contact Phillip Sit at 206/263-2261 or


Posted on November 4, 2013 at 6:30 pm
The Beaupain Team | Category: For Buyers, For Homeowners, For Sellers, King County Real Estate, King County, WA, Kirkland, Real Estate | Tagged , , ,

If You're Closing on Your Home When Property Taxes Are Due, Could You Pay Twice?

Closing near the time your property taxes are due? With the second half payment due at the end of October, it reminded me of what happened to a client of mine who was closing on the sale of her home near the time property taxes were due.

Here’s what happened:

Bank of “You Know Who” and escrow each paid the first half of the taxes of $2200+.  Bank of “You Know Who” had been instructed to not pay the taxes, but apparently did anyway.  So two tax payments were made to the county.  The county would not refund the money because there’s a law which does not allow a refund for an overpayment in taxes, if they were paid by a third party company, which was the case in this situation. The payment was automatically applied to future tax payments, even though the seller no longer owned the home.  The buyer was the beneficiary of the double tax payment, since they now owned the home, not the seller!

The seller talked with both the bank and escrow many times in an effort to get reimbursed.  The escrow company did try to work with both the bank and the county to resolve the issue.  However, since neither the bank nor escrow had the money, because they had paid the county, neither party would reimburse the seller for the money.

State law on this subject specifically prohibits the county from issuing a refund. The statute was amended in 2005, in response to input from many counties in Washington.  The counties did not want to be placed in the middle of such business transactions.

This is the state RCW and specific line in the code:

RCW 84.69.020

Grounds for refunds — Determination — Payment — Report.

However, no refunds as a result of an incorrect payment authorized under subsection (8) of this section made by a third party payee shall be granted.

There was a stalemate.  Neither the bank nor escrow would repay the seller and the county could not by law.

My seller called me to let me know what had happened.  I suggested contacting the buyer, who now had a credit for the 2nd half tax property payment.  I contacted the agent who represented the buyer and she, in turn, contacted the buyer and explained the situation.  The buyer was able to verify the overpayment and subsequent credit for the tax payment.  Fortunately, the buyer was accommodating and refunded the seller the overage.  This seller, after some stressful time dealing with this issue, was lucky.

Be careful when closing near the end of April or October, when tax payments are due. If your bank is responsible for paying your taxes, make sure your bank does not pay the tax bill. Escrow is responsible for doing so as part of the closing process.  It won’t be easy getting reimbursed if two payments are made.

Have you heard of other situations like this?


Posted on October 28, 2010 at 12:38 pm
The Beaupain Team | Category: For Buyers, For Homeowners, For Sellers, King County Real Estate, Real Estate, Real World Real Estate, WA real estate | Tagged , , , ,