HB1899 Rebuild After Fire Helpful

HB1899 Rebuild After Fire – Helpful

Pete’s Bills is a short list of important bills that have been read and should be testified on in his opinion. If you are one of those who is happy to sit back on the couch and only complain after a law is in effect, this is probably not enjoyable reading for you. Continue reading “HB1899 Rebuild After Fire Helpful”

Emergency SB 6095 Secretary of Health Orders

Emergency SB6095...

Pete’s Bills is a short list of important bills that have been read and should be testified on in his opinion. If you are one of those who is happy to sit back on the couch and only complain after a law is in effect, this is probably not enjoyable reading for you. Continue reading “Emergency SB 6095 Secretary of Health Orders”

2023.01.17 Pete’s Bills

Pete’s Bills is a short list of important bills that have been read and should be testified on in his opinion.If you are one of those who is happy to sit back on the couch and only complain after a law is in effect, this is probably not enjoyable reading for you. Continue reading “2023.01.17 Pete’s Bills”

We Survived the Oregon Road Fire

WE SURVIVED
the Oregon Road Wildfire

This wildfire in rural northern Elk WA began on August 18, 2023 in the early afternoon. It was a hot and extremely fast-moving fire pushed around with wind gusts exceeding 45 MPH. We know, because we were there.

W House
August 19, 2023

The Medical Lake fire started at the same time and all air support that was working the Elk “Oregon Road” fire was removed and sent to Medical Lake. Air support was not split up between the two fires, it was all moved to Medical Lake ONLY. The firefighter ground crews in our area of  Elk (Oregon Rd) were told to “stand down and let it burn” – “only handle the evacuations”.After the fire we had to log the destroyed trees to prevent insect infestation.

Nelson Creek Fire

Three years ago the Nelson Creek Fire was stopped only 650 feet from our home/property. Courageous firefighters were astonishing with ground forces with a full company of air support. In our neighborhood all of our homes were saved, losing only outbuildings. Their heroic air show was a dance I will never forget. Helicopters, jets, prop planes, and ground crews swooping in and out, accomplished a miracle, YAY!

After the Nelson Creek Fire’s close call, Pete and I checked our home insurance and increased it to cover the cost of rebuilding if it happened again. This made our bills higher but we thought it was worth it. Now, we are in the process of negotiating to receive that insurance coverage. At some point, we should win the ARM WRESTLING MATCH with the insurance carrier, then we can proceed. So, our belts tighten up and we do what we can do until then.

Elk is a community I love. It is full of strong and opinionated “freedom-loving” people. We work things out for ourselves, thank you. And we know our neighbors.

Five months after the wildfire, many of us have lost absolutely everything and are still displaced but we will not be giving up. Dealing with the loss of all of our STUFF is hard, but even if you see a tear leak out of my eye, I will not be stopped. The sun keeps coming up each morning and setting each night. We are still required to go to work or attend school, and take care of the kids and animals.

We shiver as we continue to experience the arrival of below-zero temperatures this winter.

 

Town Hall

town Hall 01Last night’s “Town Hall” meeting in Elk at the Country Church of the Open Bibler, was well attended and allowed a lot of informal discussion to take place. We were able to discuss obstacles being encountered by victims during the recovery from the wildfire. Being a fire victim myself, I left the meeting with some weight and frustration lifted off of my shoulders. There was hope for the future replacing it.

The 2 speakers addressed subjects in their own professional fields and then fielded many questions from the locals in attendance.

Leonard Christian

House of Representatives – 4th Legislative District

Christian apologised that in Olympia they had been told that the asbestos testing was being paid for by the state and it has not. Many people responded saying what it had cost them.

town Hall 02He understands the importance of stopping the new building codes requiring no propane allowances in our reconstruction. Heat pumps do not work well in the colder regions (below 34 degrees), or rural regions that lose power frequently.

town Hall 08This mandate needs to be fought, and the best way to prevent it from being passed into law in March 2024 is to flood Gov Jay Inslee with emails and phone calls stating your point of view. Contact him frequently, and ask all of your friends and relatives to do the same. His contact information is below.

We do not want Propane to be Outlawed!

  • Write
    Governor Jay Inslee
    Office of the Governor
    PO Box 40002
    Olympia, WA 98504-0002
  • Fax
    360-753-4110

Tom Konis

the Spokane County Assessor

Konis explained the process that was used to speed up the zero valuation determination on single-family dwellings that were destroyed and damaged. Using a Google imagery-fly-over system they identified destroyed structures. Their office filled out the forms requesting adjustments for the taxpayers. Most people have already gotten a notice showing this reduced valuation and some have already received a refund of overpaid taxes.

town Hall 06A dairy farmer asked why his barn was not included as a loss, along with all of the hay in it. Evidently, only single-family homes are eligible for this tax break. A change in this law is needed. Farmland, timberland and livestock feed storage are real considerations here.

People with acreage already zoned in forest reserve taxes asked if they would now be penalized for “back taxes” since the timber was destroyed before the end of the time period signed up for. No. More questions were brought up about reforestation assistance.

The question was asked about why land parcels that are burnt are being valued the same as property not burnt. Many questions and many answers were discussed. Konis explained that sales of burnt land would have to occur for them to be able to see if the price of that burnt parcel actually decreases from wildfire destruction. Another question was asked about being unable to sell a burnt property and no solution was presented.

Heat Pumps or Natural Gas

Heat Pumps vs Natural Gas

A Heat pump or Natural Gas Heating system comparison is like comparing apples with oranges. Heat pumps are not an effective source of heat for colder climates (temperatures below 34 degrees). There is no comparison.

Propane & Natural Gas Restrictions are unconstitutional.

Bills mandating the use of gas or propane for heat, cooking, or driving are illegal! We who reside in the rural areas of Washington state see the true insanity in these measures. We consistently experience long-term and frequent electrical outages in some of the coldest locations. A Seattle dictator is attempting to take away the cleanest and most efficient source of heating, and cooking for us. It is just totally ridiculous. Heat pumps are expensive and ineffective in extreme cold (temperatures under 34 degrees), and they require more electricity from an already overtaxed grid.

Building Industry Association of Washington

‘revised effective date for 2021 codes is March 15, 2024’:

Washington State Building Code Council SBCC@des.wa.gov

This Oct 31, 2023 link states that
“public comment  is being accepted through Nov 22 on the new building code language…the state Building Code Council is expected to vote Nov 28 on whether to adopt the new policies.”:

AXIOS (Liberal) Newsletter in Seattle

The challenge in mandating electric heating in Washington state…

Clean Energy Transition Institute

In colder parts of the state like eastern Washington, the recent building code updates allow new home builders to install backup systems that run on natural gas to provide heating in the absolute coldest temperatures when a heat pump is no longer as efficient.

We get to stand the cost of installing 2 heating systems so we don’t freeze to death when it gets below 34 degrees, which is all winter long for us. There is no need to remain economical or efficient is there?

3-Year Tax Break

3-Year Tax Break

Three-Year Break

ESB 5454 The following paragraph is on the 3rd page of this downloadable pdf.  Three Year Break.

ESB 5454 Legislative changes for qualifying single-family dwellings damaged by a natural disaster

  • Engrossed Senate Bill 5454 (ESB 5454) amends RCW 84.70.010 regarding destroyed property claims for improvements that were damaged or destroyed by natural disasters and creates a property tax exemption for the amount of new construction that replaces the qualifying single-family dwelling damaged or destroyed as a result of a qualifying natural disaster. The bill:
    Establishes a new three-year property tax exemption for improvements to single-family dwellings that have been damaged, and reduced in assessed value by more than 20%, due to a natural disaster that occurred on or after Aug. 31, 2020, beginning with taxes levied for collection in 2022. Qualifying properties must be located in a disaster area declared by the governor or a county legislative authority.

    • Limits the value of the exemption to the total amount of the reduction in value due to the damage to, or destruction of, the property. This amount is determined by deducting the value of the property after it was damaged from the value of the property before it was damaged. This exemption may also apply to a complete rebuild of a totally destroyed home.
    • Requires property owners to apply for the exemption with the county assessor prior to initiating construction of the new improvement. If a taxpayer initiated new construction prior to the effective date of this legislation, July 25, 2021, they must apply for the exemption by
      Oct. 1, 2021. To qualify, the dwelling must be owned by the same person(s), or their relatives, who owned the property at the time it was negatively impacted by the natural disaster.
    • Prohibits the county assessor from approving any applications for exemption received after June 30, 2026.
    • Requires the value of the improvements to be considered as new construction as though the property was not exempt for levy purposes under chapters 36.21 and 84.55 RCW.

A new exemption application form for homes damaged by a qualifying natural disaster is available on our website at dor.wa.gov. For more information regarding destroyed property, please refer to the Destroyed Property FAQ.

Tax Refunds!

We already paid all of our taxes for 2023 at the beginning of the year.

When???

Can we expect to receive the refunds for overpaid taxes on our homes that were destroyed on August 18, 2023 in the Oregon Road wildfire in Elk?

It is DOR tax form 64 0003

Propane Outlawed Flyer

PropaneOutlawed

PropaneOutlawed

EDUCATE YOURSELF & COME TO THE MEETING

Find out more by reading these articles before the meeting so you know what you want to talk about. Half an hour of reading is worth it, to know what you are talking about.

Come to the Town Hall  Meeting!

DOWNLOAD your own flyer here LandValueBurnt

You can learn all about how this law is being pushed through as law by reading this previous post below… it is really sneaky how the state and Spokane County are working together to pass a law that the working people (us) do not want to be passed.

Unconstitutional Propane & Natural Gas

Tax Values

Before the fireLAND TAX VALUES

Does your burnt-out vacant land have the same tax value as a same-sized parcel that was not destroyed in the Oregon Road wildfire? They are being taxed at the same rates.

LandValueBurnt with info about this to take with you to the TOWN HALL MEETING ON TUESDAY, NOV 28th at 6pm.  The Country Church of the Open Bible.

After the fire

The Spokane County Assessor’s Office says, there will be no adjustments to lower tax rates for parcels in the wildfires.
Can we sell the “before” property for the same price as the “after” property?

NOT LIKELY!

There will be years of backbreaking physical labor needed to replant enough to restore the beauty of our forest lands destroyed in Elk. Not many buyers will sign up for this kind of job. Selling for a full-value purchase price is really not likely for the properties that are burned out. Our taxes on the land should reflect the “true and fair market value” accordingly. Our taxes should be reduced as we have to work to restore the forest over the next 3 years.