Hoppe challenges King County methods
Harley Hoppe's business is taking off these days. Ironically, the former King County Assessor is at the head of a Bellevue firm - Harley Hoppe & Associates - that helps individuals and companies appeal property tax judgments made by the current assessor.
With property values soaring in almost every King County market, Assessor Scott Noble has been busy raising assessed values, which directly affects how much tax is paid on any given parcel of land.
Noble's efforts are helping Hoppe's business, which is receiving inquiries at a rate Hoppe hasn't seen since opening his business in 1984. But despite the good it's doing his business, the self-described taxpayer advocate says he would rather that some of the assessor's decisions he is appealing would not have been made in the first place.
"My attitude is no different now than it was when I was assessor," he said. "On the inside I tried to save money for taxpayers all at once. Now I'm doing it one taxpayer at a time."
Chief among his complaints is a method of assessing some commercial property that takes into account the income of the business occupying a given piece of land. Noble, on the other hand, says he is setting property value according to the market value method of valuation - a legitimate method used commonly by appraisers.
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