Contact: Kathy Cummings
City Manager’s Office
KIRKLAND, Wash. – Seniors facing sticker shock from the February 2018 property tax bills will learn how state and local programs can provide some relief at a free public forum on Tuesday, March 13 from 10:30 a.m. to noon in the Council Chambers at City Hall (123 5th Ave.).
The forum, sponsored by the Kirkland Senior Council in conjunction with the City of Kirkland, features King County Assessor John Wilson and Elena G. Huizar from the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Branch. Members of the Kirkland City Council will also be in attendance.
In mid-February, King County home owners received their property-tax bills. Countywide, this year’s bills are at least 17 percent higher than last year’s - a result of the state legislature’s solution to the McCleary school funding plan as well as rising property values and voter approved transportation taxes.
This combination of state mandated tax increases to fully fund schools and passage of several recent regional and local ballot measures has resulted in what the assessor’s office has called the “largest property tax increase in King County in modern history.” The tax significantly affects seniors, especially those on a fixed income.
County Assessor Wilson will explain this year’s increase and the available property exemptions for low income seniors. He will also discuss his concerns about potential fraud directed at seniors as a result of the increased tax. Ms. Huizar will reveal how to recognize consumer fraud in general and more specifically, what seniors can do to protect themselves from being victims of con-artists and scammers.
There will also be a question and answer portion of the program.