Property Value Raised Again

Property Value Raised Again on our 10 acre-burnt out parcel going from a value of $92,000 to $129,000 in one year. We are only at the framing stage of our rebuild after the fire. The scorched land has not been improved.

Home Before August 18th Oregon Road Wildfire

A 40-1/2 % INCREASE in one year right after a nationally declared disaster wildfire. NOT REASONABLE.

Present Home July1,2024

DEADLINE TO FILE AN APPEAL IS JULY 1, 2024 in the mail. That is Monday.

I have had to appeal our inflating tax value increases for the last 3 years.  Filled-out forms are available if you would like to download them HERE. Unfortunately, we have not been unsuccessful. It would take a miracle to win with the way Spokane County has this set up.

ONLY if everyone stood up and appealed together could we win.

After a call with Joe Hollenbach (Chief Deputy Assessor)  at 509-477-5902

There are previous writings on this blog describing this process in the articles listed below.

Ridiculous Tax Inflation

DEADLINE to Appeal

You can see a copy of my appeal if you’d like to send me a message. PLEASE APPEAL RIDICULOUS RAISES IN PROPERTY TAXES ON BURNT OUTLAND.

Did you sign this form?

Department of Revenue Special Notice

3 yr property tax exemptions July 25,2021 introduction.

The Law is RCW Chapter 84.70.010 ReductionInValueAssessments

 Download link 3 pgs (full text)

Taxpayer’s Claim for Reduction of Assessments Resulting from Destroyued Real or Personal Property or Loss of Value in a Declared Disaster Area

Under legislation passed in 2021, taxpayers may apply for a three-year exemption for physical improvement value added to single-family dwellings as a result of property destroyed by a qualifying natural disaster. The question is, “Is my home that was destroyed in the Oregon Rd, Elk Fire on August 18th, 2023 considered to be  “in a Declared Disaster Area”?

This date has been extended to July 1, 2024. Applications must be submitted to the county assessor before starting construction on new improvements. Contact your local county assessor for more information or see the links listed under Forms and Publications. But per a phone call with Joe Hollenback at the end of June they would be willing to accept forms through July 1st, 2024.

RCW Chapter 84.70010_040 DestroyedPropAbatementyRefund


DestroyedPropAbatementRefund.pdf 3 pgss


IRS Disaster Assistance and Emergency Relief

IRS disaster assistance and emergency relief

Emergency Managemeny Division EMD Disaster Assistance gfor businessses


allows assessors to use drones for inspection


changes allow seizure of personal property on accountds that owe over $50

DOR Form 62 00852 Damaged Timber Adjustment Application

Fire Demolition and Rebuilding FAQs 2pg flyer Site Plan, Asbestos, Regional Air then bldg permit


Fire Disaster Relief. Legislative changes

Exemption for Qualifying Single-Family Residences Damaged by a Natural Disaster

Department of Revenue Form 64-0117.  File with your local county assessor prior to beginning construction.  Applications received after June 30, 2026, may not be approved.

Additional Tax Relief Available to Wildfire Victims

Spokane County Assessor’s Office announced it has identified additional property tax relief available to those suffering from destroyed property because of the Gray and Oregon Road Fires.

Department of Revenue Form 640003 ESB 5454


not yet investigated

EHB 1271 Adopted IAAO standards for property inspections and includes personal property for delinquent payments in the current year

Engrossed House Bill 1271 (EHB 1271) amends multiple statutes

WA State Legislature COMMITTEE SIGN IN




IRS Break

Wood Slash Pile after the burn.IRS Break. The Internal Revenue Service is giving fire victims a break in filing their taxes. It is not much but they have extended dates to file and pay taxes and are pointing out ways to get copies of previous tax returns for free along with checking out how to file for losses. We also have a new label, “4759-DR” to put on all of our tax paperwork. FUN, FUN, FUN. Simply do all of this while you burn the monstrous slash piles in the mud and cold.

You can file your taxes later, WOW!
June 17, 2024

WE ARE DISASTER RELIEF 4759. Remember to identify your return as a FEMA Disaster individual by putting “4759-DR” in bold at the top of your return. That is our number here in Spokane Washington.

The article mentions relief programs available as we deal with losses incurred. This Internal Revenue Service announcement explains all of it. These also affect businesses located in the area, or that serve the disaster areas. In the announcement, there are links to declarations, affected areas, forms, and booklets to explain how to complete forms. It is all typical “LEGALEEZE” and utterly fun to read. NOT really!

FEMA 4759-DR

Federal Emergency Management Agency declaration. See the previous post to find out where to go locally to fill out your FEMA and SBA applications.


Current List of Disaster Relief Locations

The first link is the same declaration link as mentioned above. The second link takes you to a similar announcement page that has been slightly reworded, and it outlines similar information about the changed due dates.


In a federally declared disaster area, we have the option to claim disaster-related losses on our federal tax return. On our 2022 return, we have till October 15, 2024, to make this kind of claim.

Publication 547, Casualties, Disasters, Theft” is the How-To direction book to fill out this form. It is a 31-page booklet in PDF format, and it is also available in Ebook format which will allow searching.

Form 4684 directions


IRS has decided to waive the usual fees that they charge for sending us copies of previous tax returns that burned up in the fire. Isn’t that special?

FORM 4506 – Request for a Copy of Tax Return
FORM 4506T – Request for Transcript of Tax Return

I will order as far back as possible (7 years at least). Then we have information if they decide to audit us later on.


FEMA hours at CCOBFEMA & SBA are here,  The Federal Emergency Management Association and Small Business Association have set up shop at the Country Church of the Open Bible in Elk WA this week. These are along with two other organizations including the mobile DSHS crew and an Insurance Commissioner representative from Olympia. I went in on Friday to register with whatever programs were available for our family. There are four places you can do the paperwork for disaster assistance right here in Elk. The only way you can guarantee that you will get NO assistance is to NOT APPLY. So, be sure to come on down and apply.

The hours add up to 50 hours a week shown above. Be sure to take advantage of this convenience. It will take less time than you would think and the people are very friendly and helpful.

Monday, Tuesday, & Friday: 8:30am-6:30pm (30 hrs)

Wednesday & Thursday: 8:30am-3:30pm (14 hrs)

Saturday: 9am-3pm (6 hrs)


FEMA decides who can get grants that don’t have to be paid back. The application amounted to about 30 minutes of me listening to the lady filling out the form on her laptop across the table from me. I answered her questions the best that I could recollect. Things like how much damage, street address… Value of property lost and some description. Dependants, health, or medical supplies. How much insurance? Current living situation. Mailing address and sign a permission slip for them to get a copy of my taxes from the IRS to check our income. We set up email notices and I had a FEMA number to sign in. I asked to get paper copies mailed to me for our records.


SBA Fact Sheet 01 small SBA Fact Sheet 02 smallSBA-The U.S. Small Business Administration was the second office I went to apply for assistance. If we qualify, we can get a loan with no interest in the first year and low interest after that. We are hoping to qualify to get enough funds to cover what our insurance company is not going to cover as we rebuild. You don’t have to be rebuilding, you can be relocating instead. They share information with FEMA and ask a few more questions. I thought they would only help with loans for my business and I was wrong. They also do loans for much more.

I have attached the fact sheets that they hand out so that you can read everything you need to know before you go in. (I got permission from them to share the form). You can download them here, “SBA FACT SHEET 01” & “SBA FACT SHEET 02”, to print your own.

DSHS Mobile Office

The same people that come to New Hope in Colbert, and the North County Food Pantry in Elk.


The Insurance Commissioner

She is willing to help you with the legalities of our insurance companies.

I left the church with hope in my heart again.

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

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

Air support was working the Elk “Oregon Road” fire initially. However, Governor Jay Inslee removed it and sent it to Medical Lake. It was all moved to Medical Lake ONLY, not split up between the two fires.

Our firefighters were only “ground crews” in Elk. They were told to “stand down and let it burn, only handle evacuations”. So, we did not stand a chance.

I hope we all remember this when we vote in the next election. As far as I am concerned, if they are in office now, they should be replaced especially if they are Democrats.After the fire we had to log the destroyed trees to prevent insect infestation.

Nelson Creek

The Nelson Creek Fire was stopped 650 feet from our home/property 3 years ago. Courageous firefighters were astonishing with ground forces and a full company of air support. All of our homes were saved in our neighborhood. We lost only outbuildings. Their heroic air show was a dance I will never forget. Helicopters, jets, prop planes, and ground crews swooping in and out, accomplishing miracles, YAY!

After this close call, Pete and I checked our home insurance and increased it to cover the cost of rebuilding. We also went around our home and property photographing and describing all of the buildings and things in them. 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.

Many of us have lost absolutely everything and are still displaced 6 months after the wildfire. 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 give up. I have a lot less clutter in my life.

The sun keeps coming up each morning and setting each night no matter how I feel. We are still required to go to work or attend school, and take care of the kids and animals. Life goes on.

We shiver as we continue to experience the chilly and below-zero temperatures this winter. We miss the beauty of our trees, but will replant. God is good and he has a reason for everything.