Serving Franklin County, WA

More residents voice concern over increased property valuations

Commissioners hear from public during June 20 meeting

PASCO — Additional residents are voicing concern over the increase in assessed value of properties in Franklin County.

During the Franklin County Commission meeting Tuesday, June 20, more speakers came to the microphone in response to the valuation increases sent out by the Franklin County Assessor’s office.

George Dockstader expressed worries over losing ground on an appeal unless there was a professional appraisal of his house.

“Why should someone have to pay $600 to have someone tell them what their house is worth, to appeal an outrageous assessment?” he said..

Dockstader suggested the assessed values be rolled back to the previous value until the issue has been resolved.

Chris Hollingsworth, who has established in previous meetings his profession as an appraiser, spoke about the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice regarding mass appraisals.

“Standard 5.1.B – it states that in developing a mass appraisal an appraiser must not commit a substantial error of omission or commission that significantly affects mass appraisal” he said.

He then mentioned when looking at a friend’s land table that was used; it had two properties that were not residential, but were cited as agricultural, utility and commercial properties by the Assessor’s Office.

“This is clearly an error of commission,” he said.

Franklin County Assessor John Rosenau addressed the concerns, along with Chief Appraiser Nicky Morgan.

“The sole purpose of the office is to make sure the assessed value is fair and equitable,” he said, adding that he was at a conference last week and unable to be available for some concerned residents.

“A critical meeting,” he said. “We were not ignoring calls.”

“The process is to fill out the appeal form,” Morgan told commissioners in response to comments. “After July 3. everything for our office slows down.

“That’s when the appraisers have time and the resources to do a more in-depth look.”

Both the assessor and chief appraiser reiterated that the process was designed for the county residents to file an appeal if they are unhappy.

Commissioner Clint Didier and Morgan suggested a meeting on the matter to be set after July 3.

Prosecuting Attorney Shawn Sant also weighed in on the concerns.

“You do not have to have a case together by the appeal deadline,” he said, noting that is the start of the appeals process.

 

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