King County Assessor Lloyd Hara reports on the past year

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Lloyd Hara
King County Assessor
Information from an informal newsletter that Lloyd Hara sends occasionally

By Lloyd Hara, King County Assessor

Earlier this month I went to Pittsburgh for the National Organization of County Officials (NACO) convention. On behalf of the Department of Assessments, I proudly accepted 2012 Achievement Awards for:

  • Our GIS (Geographic Information System) Integrator
  • A Re-engineered Property Valuation Notice Program
  • The eReal Property web app

There's more where that came from. Recall a minor media frenzy back in July of 2010? "County Office Buys iPads During Tough Economic Times"!

That edgy investment evolved into iRealProperty™, an app that helps appraisers work smarter during these tough economic times, in ways that are drawing attention around the state and around the nation.

We also demo'd BOE eAppeals to WSACA's CTC. [Translation: our Board Of Equalization online appeals tool, at the Washington State Association of County Assessors' Computer Technology Committee - which I chair, by the way.] We plan to roll out eAppeals for general public use later in 2012.

As usual I'm bopping around the County - 475 outreach events and counting - to meet with civic groups, real estate people, local officials and inquiring taxpayers.

I'm not on the ballot this year, but several tax-related items are. These include a 7-year property tax levy for Seattle libraries, a 9-year levy for County youth services, and a 30-year levy for Seattle's seawall.

As the Seattle Times reminds us in a striking editorial page graphic illustration, a major share of property taxes in King County are voter-approved. Please pay close attention to the tax levies on your August primary and November general election ballots.

As promised, we revived the Department's college internship program, and four of our interns just completed their Masters in Public Administration at the UW Evans School of Public Affairs.

This graduate school's 50th Anniversary in 2012 has deep meaning for one public servant whose career began at the School, at its beginning, back in 1962.

Marking this milestone, I set up an Endowed Fund to open doors for worthy Evans scholars from diverse backgrounds with particular interest in local government.


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