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TAXES: Message does not compute

| May 17, 2020 1:00 AM

Rep. Sage Dixon,

Thank you for the form letter you mailed out to your district. In the portion of the letter entitled “Taxes,” I noticed that you mentioned being on the House revenue and taxation committee that had, and I quote, “Worked to lower income, corporate, and property taxes.”

I found that to be quite enlightening as the property taxes in Bonner County have been rising rather steeply over the past two years. My property tax rose 35.5% over the last two years, with no supporting documentation on my assessments as to why. After I contacted a friend of mine at Windermere Realty and asked for the market value of my home and property, I found that the county had assessed our property at $40,000 over that value. And the market value didn’t include the smoke and mirrors $100,000 forestry deduction.

The truth of the matter is, Bonner County is raising property taxes because of the influx of people from California and Oregon, flush with money and willing to pay any price for property up here because, to them, it’s cheap. With the exception of Sandpoint and the residences surrounding Lake Pend Oreille, the vast majority of the outlying area is populated by low income families or fixed income seniors who can’t afford these double digit increases. Rather than taxing these additional people at the cost of their property, the county has decided that whether or not you’re selling your property, the tax base will be like a rising tide and raise everyone’s taxes.

Tell me again Mr. Dixon, why I should vote for you?

WILLIAM R. BATDORF

Spirit Lake