52% Appreciation in Kirkland This Year???

This is fun.  Just got my new Tax Assessment, and like Robbie, I am clearly puzzled.  Robbie’s Total Assessment went up 10% and he freaked out.  Well Robbie, my total assessment went up 40.6% this year.  NOW let’s talk about the Attack of the Killer Assessments.

Land – Old Value $376,000  – New Value $510,000 – UP 35%

Bldg. – Old Value $167,000 – New Value $254,000 – UP 52%

Nope, no major remodel.  No permits pulled for improvements that I know of except maybe fixing a shower in the basement.

According to Zillow there’s been a drop of about 3.5% in value in 98033 during the same period. 

Clearly a 40% PLUS increase in value is not about appreciation.  Since I am from the Era of Respecting Authority, I think the County has a really, really good reason for what just happened, and i think they are correct.  I want to know what that reason is, of course.  But my guess is that they know what they are doing, and they will give me a valid explanation.

Now…let’s talk about Seller Disclosure for a minute.

If you are buying a property, be sure to ASK the seller if he has his new assessment for 2009.  No, I’ve never seen seller’s disclosing that.  There is no place on the Seller Disclosure Form or MLS Input Sheet to disclose that.  I don’t think a reasonable annual increase needs to be disclosed necessarily.

But if based on opening my mail this morning, I have learned that the taxes are going to increase by 40.6%, don’t you think I SHOULD disclose that?  Most sellers would feel disadvantaged because “no one else is doing that”.  My home has been on market for about 25 days saying the taxes are $4,805.  While what I received in the mail says nothing about a change in the tax amount to be charged, given what it does say it looks like that $4,805 is going to be $6,755 in 2009.

Clearly there’s more to this story than meets the eye.  If anyone knows a reason why the assessment would go up 52% on my house and 35% on my land this year…I’d love to hear it.