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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

June 2, 2009 at 4:00 PM

Real-estate values

Dropping prices, rising taxes — what’s going on?

The Times’ article on real -state values was long on human-interest stories and the touting of light rail and diversity, and included a useful table on neighborhood property values [“Housing market has surprise bright spot,” page one, May 31]. But despite such pleasant details, it left readers gaping with wonder at the omission of a major conflict that most homeowners will immediately recognize.

That’s the conflict between the drop in house prices since 2006 and the simultaneous rises in assessed valuation and King County taxes over the same period. It appears that King County, with its assessor as an accomplice, is feathering its nest by constantly increasing taxes at the expense of homeowners with no regard to the falling values apparent in the market.

It would be proper for The Seattle Times to make some serious comparisons between its own real-estate data and those of the county assessor, and to explain to readers why they move in opposite directions.

— Hank Bradley, Seattle

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