Many of you in Martin Luther King Jr. County joined in recent National Day of Service projects, raised the roof at high school hoopfests, or took inspiration from other community events honoring Dr. King’s memory.
The same week, 50 years earlier, President John F. Kennedy invited us to “ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country”. Those words — words that inspired me to a life in public service — echoed in my heart last Wednesday as they crackled from a D.C. taxicab radio within sight of the Capitol dome.
Standing for re-election this year as King County Assessor, I renew my commitment to MLK’s call for Justice and JFK’s call to Service.
Many of you question the justice of your own tax bills, and taxes in general. My office does not dictate tax laws or control tax rates for Washington State, King County, or its 163 taxing districts.
But within our powers of office, we work hard to advance the cause of Justice:
- When we value property fairly and uniformly, you pay your fair share and nothing more.
- When we stand our ground against hired experts on high-stakes tax disputes, we protect the average homeowner from having to make up the difference.
- When we adjust assessment levels and trending formulas, we keep the whipsaw effects of today’s turbulent market to a minimum.
New Chief Appraiser Dennis Pulsipher strengthens our hand. Starting in this office over 30 years ago, Dennis quickly became the go-to guy on sticky issues in commercial and utility assessment. He moved on to WA State D.O.R., served as Chief Appraiser in Pierce Co., and spent the past decade as Chief Deputy Assessor for Thurston County.
Dennis will add “heft” to our side of the table in those high-value cases, and help find ways do our usual work in an orderly manner in today’s upside-down market.
If we don’t meet every taxpayer’s ideal of Justice in his or her own tax bill . . . at least we can deliver the best possible Service.
- On the web, by phone, in the office, by e-mail, in the media, and at public meetings all over the County, we can explain what we do . . . how we do it . . . and why.
- We can streamline the appeals process, and make it easier to find out early whether you have good grounds to appeal.
- We can go to Olympia and press for laws that get us out of the age of “snail mail” and 5-part carbon copies.
All these are part of our commitment to Service . . . to a new way of doing business in your Department of Assessments.
In the pursuit of better service, Al Dams joins our team to spearhead a number of special programs. Al has a record of driving reform and introducing efficiencies in King County Parks, Records, and Animal Control.
In other milestones, January is the month we deliver our primary product – the completed tax roll – to the County Treasurer. This lays the basis for much activity (and argument) that follows through the year.
You can help us follow through
As King County Assessor, I’m up for re-election this year, and I ask for your financial support to help me win in November. You’ve just read about some of my recent activity but I have so much to do to make the Assessor’s office run even more efficiently. To win another term and continue my work for Justice and Service to all taxpayers, I need your help right away.
The maximum contribution in this race is $1,600 per person, but any amount will have a huge impact on my ability to communicate my message to voters county-wide. Simply click here to go directly to our secure online contribution page. You can also send a check directly to the campaign at:
Citizens for Hara
466 Smith Street
Seattle, WA 98109
I am honored to serve King County and I ask your support to continue that work for another four years. Please consider sending whatever amount you can manage — every $25 – $50 – $100 gets us that much closer to victory.