Avoid Increased Building Costs

Do you want to avoid increased building costs involved with the “NEW BUILDING CODES”? Then it is imperative that you accomplish the following steps BEFORE OCTOBER 19TH, 2023.

New building codes will be going into effect on October 29, 2023. One of the most dangerous parts of those new codes is the;

…removal of your right to freely choose to use propane as a source of energy and/or heat in your home.

In our community, this edict could easily be a death sentence in the middle of winter. We historically loose electrical power for extended periods of time during sub-zero freezing weather.


  1. Using the “destroyed property” reduced (form), we will signup to get the tax valuation. See a previous blog article explaining thought on that, 3 -Year-Tax-Break for Disaster Victims
  2. We have already drawn a plot diagram of our land and marked where our “destroyed home” had been and also noted where water, septic and temporary electric are located.
  3. We plan to fill-out demolition permit paperwork at the Spokane County Building Department Office. The cost for half a year long demolition permit has been reduced, from $325 to $25. We don’t need an asbestos permit to file this paperwork, because we can get it later (see #5). This demolition permit can later be changed into a building permit. Again, protection from the new more expensive codes forced in the October 29th edition.
  4. Construction permit paperwork, if we can not get it done in time (submitted before Oct 29th, 2023) we face a, “NO PROPANE” dismal situation.
  5. ASBESTOS TEST? Is there is a mortgage on your home? We are going to check with our Mortgage Company to ask them to pay for the testing. They are required to have asbestos testing in their insurance coverage for each home loan. If they do not have this, then call The Office of the Insurance Commissioner at 800-562-6900 and report them.

Water Line Service

Water Line Service – Turning now to our house location after cleanup. There may be some excavation required, and replacement of melted, cracked or damaged water fittings, valves or pipes before the main water supply reactivation. If you don’t know where you are going to rebuild, you can put a frost-free draining standpipe and extend out further to “stub-out” for access later on. When installing any of these frost-free faucets, be sure to use a good amount of gravel at the bottom of their ditch so the pipe can drain properly.

Inspections & Permits – Spokane County, L & I (Labor & Industries) 1-800-547-8367 is the Office that handles the permits, and inspections for this part. This page on their website explains the rules and it is a good idea to read all of them. Here is the form that you must fill out to pay for your permit online, by mail, or in person at their office downtown. F500-094-000 or ONLINE  You will need to pass an electrical inspection before you will be allowed to fill in the ditches or cover any wiring up in the walls. If you forget and fill in the ditches and close the walls, they will make you open them and dig them back up to show them,. They will also charge you again for scheduling another inspection and probably make you wait a while for your inspection.


Rise as One


for the Victims of the Oregon Fire

Fri, 9/1/2023


Riverside High School Stadium

Community Healing Event and Football Game

and Fundraiser Kick OFF

Free Admission

Free Food

Thank you to the sponsors

· GESA Credit Union

· STCU, State Teacher’s Credit Union

· DA Davidson

· NAC Architecture

· DCI Engineers

· Innovia Foundation

· MSI Engineers, Meulink Stauffenberg Inc

· Avista

You can see information on the Riverside High School webpage about upcoming events and the

Innovia “Elk Community Wildfire Fund”

An Innovia Foundation Fundraising poster image is shown on this page but, unfortunately, is only a graphic at this time. Clicking on the image of the poster does not take you to the actual fundraising portal yet. Instead, the links actually just go to the graphic files. This is a small correction to make.

After navigating to the Innovia Foundation site, it was easy to lookup the “Elk Community Wildfire Fund“, and it does appear to be a valid collection. Hopefully, if we all share the link for this, to every person we know, we will be able to collect enough funds to be able to actually help all of the uninsured victims be able to get back on their feet again. You can see the link that needs to be shared on FaceBook, in your emails and anywhere else you can think of.


DNR & Spokane Conservation District

DNR & Spokane Conservation District

Join Us!, for the Washington State Dept of Natural Resources &
Spokane Conservation District informational

“Post Fire Assistance” Meeting


Oregon Rd Fire victims

Thursday, September 7th



Riverside High School
4120 E Deer Park Milan Rd
Chattaroy, WA 99003

Topics include:

· Assessing tree survivability

· Salvage Logging

· Forest practices and regulations

· Slope instability

· Reforestation

· Noxious weeds

· Forest health

· Assistance programs

Download Announcement Here

American Dream Home


HousingSenate Bill 5027 —“American Dream Home”

  • Grants are given to the Zoning Commission along with allowance to “lessen public-input” in the process of re-zoning the urban lands/utilities to accommodate.
  • Building Department procedure changes radically in cost and time frames, putting a cap on permit cost ($1,200+ -). Imagine having a short time limit to process a permit application. Too bad that the rest of us have had to put up with a lot longer wait for projects going through that department? Our building permit costs were 4 times more than what is being proposed? Why should my rate be so much more than someone newly moving here?
    There will be staff increases needed to manage the higher volume of permits, created by the reduced permit fees. AND! More additional staff will be needed to create another government website so grants, that they will get for doing their job, can be tallied and processed. Another case of FOLLOW THE MONEY!
  • —-Contractors (the selected ones) will be receiving annual TAX CREDITS for 10 years (equal to 4% of the gross selling price of each unit).
  • —-For low-income homeowners (meaning 80% median) tax credits will be allowed for 12 years, excluding them from paying any property tax on their home for more than a decade.

More Bills are attached to this…

*House Bill 1339          Energy in buildings – Would make a new job/required subcontractor for building homes and small businesses. Removes the use of gas/fossil fuel appliances and heating units from new and existing homes.

Senate bill *SB5190           Middle housing – Cities and Counties can change the zoning for housing to allow multi-unit housing in single-unit housing zones.

*SB5412           Land use permitting/local – Allows the city or county to add houses or apartments or multi-house units to an already established neighborhood that still has undeveloped lots.

*SB5235           Accessory dwelling units – Allows a homeowner to add another home on a single-family property to help reduce the housing shortage. No consideration is taken to ordinances or covenants with respect to the single-family residence or community.

*SB5357        Detached Accessory Dwelling Units Same as SB5235

Spokane Tax Assessors

Appraiser Humor
The cartoon above was found on Tom Konis’ FaceBook page (https://www.facebook.com/tom.konis). A prime example of Appraiser humor.

Tax Budget Mysteries

Spokane Tax Assessors (Tom Konis) had this cartoon on his FaceBook page. Revealing?

Did you know that the Assessor’s Office is given a total dollar amount to generate for each fiscal year? Who it is, that gives Spokane County this number to collect, has not yet been discovered. That is just another topic that this FreedomPod in NE Washington needs to do a search and rescue research mission and then broadcast for you.


Spoco Percentage Tax Increase 22-23

“Fair market values” are then set, by using percentage amounts across different regions of the County and basically dividing up portions of the pot between citizens that live there. Above is an image displaying the regional percentage divisions that tax rates will increase next year. Check how much more you will pay next year. The Spokane County Assessor’s Office’s basis for calculating a property’s “fair market value” is that they must generate this total dollar value.

We live in Elk, Washington and the percentage of increase will be 27.98% in this region, our taxes will be going up an additional 27.98% next year. Hmmm. In the past 3 years, they have escalated 100% already, doubling. Now, I can look forward to another 1/3’rd raise even if the housing market dives. Hmmm.

Want Change?

The entire process that figures out how much to assess and where to spend our property tax dollars has very little voter involvement at this time. This is really not good. For things to improve, as taxpayers, we need to become aware of and be active participants in what is going on.

These decision-makers have no one holding them accountable for unreasonable decisions that affect our lives.

We must educate ourselves to stop this. Am I willing to take what steps are necessary to pay attention to and counter unreasonable tax levies? YES. We will share what is found on this blog. We will also begin recruiting others interested in making a positive change.

Remember! If our elected officials are not voted back into office they can not continue to impose unwarranted taxes on us. Organizing and voting is the most important citizen action we can take. BTW, Tom Konis got back into office running unopposed. What a shame. Wouldn’t it be great to have someone who is a working-class citizen in this position instead of a Realtor? See, Conflict of Interest here.


Property Taxes Raised?

Property Taxes Raised!

After attending the tax collector town hall meeting in Spokane, we walked back to the parking lot. There was a sense of overwhelming apathy surrounding us.  The huge increase in property and land values in our property tax notices inspired increased public attendance. Tax increases upwards of 40% in 2022! Almost everyone’s questions were centered on this insane increase.

Sadly, many of us that were in attendance are in fear of losing our homes. Excessive tax increase sets up taxpayers on a fixed income for failure. Many others that were there, have had unprecedented levels of economic upheaval during the past three years, making this also true for them.

The County Tax Collector’s Office does not set the amount of tax required for the budget, or assess the values of individual properties in the county. They only collect, direct and invest the tax money. Taxpayer requests for avenues of resolution received only vague references to, the State Legislators… or City Council for answers. The Contact information below was provided at the end of the meeting.

County Commissioner’s Contact Information 509/477-2265

  • District 1 (North) Josh Kerns jkerns@spokanecounyty.org
  • District 1 (North) Josh Kerns jkerns@spokanecounyty.org
  • District 2 (East) Mary Kuney mkuney@spokanecounty.org
  • District 3 (West) Al French afrench@spokanecounty.org
  • District 2 (East) Mary Kuney mkuney@spokanecounty.org
  • District 3 (West) Al French afrench@spokanecounty.org

Property Tax Information

Taxpayer Town MeetingProperty Tax Information

The Spokane County Assessor Website

are Application Forms
  • 2022 Application Packet
  • 2021 Exemption Brochure
  • Proof of Disability Statement
  • Declaration of Trust
  • Income Threshold for 2019_Prior, and 2020-2024

Tax Law Information:

WA State Legislator, RCWs > Title 84 > Chapter 84.36 > Section 84.36.383 ,


The Social Security Act, Sections 223(d)(2)(A), Disability,


Taxpayer Town Hall Meeting

Taxpayer Town MeetingTaxpayer Town Hall Meeting

in downtown Spokane


Tuesday, April 5th



the Museum of Arts & Culture Auditorium

2316 W First Ave, Spokane WA

For more information and links to the County Treasurer’s office and info about applying for exemptions for disabilities and seniors visit this prior post. More information is on this prior post about the tax office forms.

41% Increase in Taxes

Spokane County Tax Notice 1Did you have a 41% increase…

from last year’s property taxes like us? We received our 2022 tax notice from Spokane County from the Treasurer, Michael Baumgartner today. We are not happy with a 41% increase. As you read the notice above a town hall meeting is scheduled in early April 2022 and we are definitely going to attend it.

Taxpayer Town Hall Meeting

Tuesday April 5th, 2022


at the MAC Auditorium

Museum of Arts & Culture at 2316 W First Ave, Spokane WA

Spokane County Tax Notice 2Senior & Disabled Person

Tax Exemptions

are available thru

Assessor’s Office call