1. What does your role as Chief Deputy Assessor involve? There are 39 Cities and over 160 taxing Districts that rely on the information generated by the talented staff in our Department to fund their budgets. Working under the leadership of King County Assessor Lloyd Hara, I work with a team to oversee the Department of Assessments. We provide nearly $4 billion in fair assessments that fund important areas such as education, roads, fire, and hospitals for all King County cities and districts. We also maintain property maps and administer the many generous levies approved by voters, among other things.
2. What do you like most about your job? Each day is different. One day, I am working with one of the many taxing jurisdictions to provide information about property values, while another I could be out with other King County offices listening to the concerns of our Constituents. On other days I am working with staff to work through a complex obstacle or to “put out a fire,” and in some cases I am working to “start a fire.” I enjoy the variety of my job!
3. What is the biggest challenge in your job? From a practical level the volume of email both from internal and external stakeholders. I like to be responsive, but if I responded immediately to every email, I could possibly spend the majority of my day answering and generating email. I am a people person, so I like to have a meeting and discuss things in person. However, the work pace does not allow for that. So I am trying new methods like “no email time” for an hour here and an hour there. But it’s not easy, I always have a feeling that I am missing an important email, but I am learning to be OK without being constantly plugged into email.
4. All King County property owners will soon receive property valuations by mail; what should property owners know about this process? Let’s face it; the property tax is not the most popular! However, most people value highly what property taxes fund (schools, hospitals etc.). Our team of appraisers and staff are very high quality. We work hard to ensure uniform and equitable appraisals of property throughout King County. We have over 700,000 accounts that we revalue every year. Constituents receive their value notices (usually between May-October).
5. How is the Department of Assessments using technology to better serve the people of King County? We were one of the first Assessor offices in the Country to use an iPad in the field. We also worked with other agencies to create an e-appeal platform that allows property tax appeals to be filed online. Our team is now working on a new open data platform that will provide customizable visualization of the many traits of property data that we collect.