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.

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”

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.


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

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.

Common Sense Debris Cleanup

Common Sense Debris Cleanup Includes Recycling

American Recycling Corp – Spokane

iScrap App, which shows current prices being paid for recycled products

American Recycling Corp. Scrap Prices – Spokane
6203 E Mission Ave, Spokane Valley WA 99212 Phone: 509.535.42710

This firm is accepting scrap metal, steel, and aluminum and copper. However there are restrictions on recycling both burnt copper and automobiles. Only one load of copper will be allowed per household, and most of us will be saving this copper in a special pile on the side, to take in last. Why, only one load? Because, there have been too many thieves making a living off of melting stolen copper wiring. You will need to get a letter certifying that you are a bonafied resident of the disaster area who has lost your home or outbuildings. In other words, you are not a crook.

The person who can supply this is, Fire Marshall, Jared Harms, Spokane County Fire District #4, Deputy Chief / Fire Marshal – CFEI, (509)220-7446. Harms replied to our request with this:

Thank you for reaching out. We can certainly get those letters out to citizens that have been impacted within the fire zone. We just need the names of the residents, their address, and preferred email to send the letter to. You can share my email with citizens needing this letter and I will get it to them.

American Recycling will take cars for scrap, if, you have the paperwork showing ownership. If you do not have “ownership paperwork” they will not accept the car.

There is an alternative way to provide the necessary paperwork, and it is called a “HULK” slip, which is available at the S.C.O.P.E. Deer Park Office 316 E Crawford St, Deer Park WA 99006
509 .276.7848 Hours:? left msg.

Sorting the metals as you cleanup is really smart, take a look at the different amounts paid for the different types of metal per pound and you will see for yourself

or the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office 1100 W Mallon Ave, Spokane Ave Spokane WA 99260, 509.477-2240.

FYI—To find out more about wildfire disaster assistance, text RECOVERY to 99411

Pacific Steel & Recycling

2901 E Trent Ave, Spokane WA 99202 Phone: 509.55.1673, or 800.243.2618
Hours: Mon-Fri 8-4, Sat 8-12, Closed Sept 4, 2023

Pull & Save Auto Parts
We want your vehicles, dead or alive!

Spokane Valley Location 509.921.8000, and in Mead 509.928.4000

DISCLAIMER: Spokane County Waste Disposal advises that that the victims of the wildfire begin cleanup by getting ahold of their Waste System “transportation conractor” (contact information below); This is information noted from attending the Meeting at Riverside High School on Tues 08/29/23-6pm.

Sunshine Disposal & Recycling

509.934.5678, mailbox is full, cannot accept messages at this time.
PO Box 13369, Spokane Valley WA

This firm is in charge of the transportating portion of Spokane County Waste Disposal System. Contact them first for instructions on what you have to do to utilize their waste disposal system and make sure you take your wallet with you.

Costs and availability of the County requirements are unknown. Asbestos Test Kit and their Results wait times are also unknown at this time.

flyer for cleanup

3 year Tax Break for Disaster Victims

surprised girlNot Really!

3 year tax break? There are some credits available to apply for but if you read all the paperwork you will see that as soon as you rebuild, those credit’s disappear into thin air. The worst part is that the Assessors Office can make up the difference for their losses in tax collection during the next levy period. So, the fire disaster victims do not get a 3-year break from our high property tax assessments after all.

Here is what the Spokane Tax Assessor Announced:

Tax Relief Options for Those Impacted by Fires

SPOKANE COUNTY, Wash. – Spokane County Assessor Tom Konis issued a statement making wildfire victims aware of property tax relief available to those suffering from destroyed property because of the Gray and Oregon Road fires…

FAQ Guide About Destroyed Property (6 pages long) from the Washington State Department of Revenue, along with additional details on the state law. After reading through all of it, what looks most important… just in case you are a little busy with that disaster thingy.

If you have damages that exceed 20% of the assessed value on your property tax assessment, you can apply for a 3 year break on your taxes. Applications must be submitted prior to  starting construction on new improvements… 

Q15 They will prorate the taxes for this year….

Q16. What happens if I replace the destroyed property?
If the destroyed property is replaced with new construction… the taxable value for that assessment year will include the new construction value as of July 31. The total value will take into consideration the new construction as well as the value reduction due to destroyed property. The value of any portion of new construction completed after July 31 will be added to the assessment roll for the next assessment year.

Q19. How is the reduction or refund of current year taxes calculated?

Q20. If property taxes have already been paid, the county will issue a refund based on the assessed value reduction.

Q23. Can taxing districts impose an administrative refund levy for collection in the subsequent tax year based on the destroyed property adjustments?

Destroyed Property Form (PDF Application) 

Destroyed Property Form (B&W Printable Application)

State Law

Submit a Petition For Property Tax Refund


We must remember to request a refund from the Dept of Revenue, by filling out a Petition For Property Tax Refund form. Be sure to remember these three generous politicians in the next election.

Tom Konis

Spokane County WA, Tax Assessment Office Assessor’s Website Homepage:   509-477-3698

Michael Baumgartner

Spokane County Treasurer

Mary Kuney

Chair of the Board of County Commissioners and representing District 4.