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Spokane County fire victims are eligible for property tax relief

Spokane County residents affected by the recent wildfires may be eligible for property tax relief.

The Gray Fire burning near Medical Lake, and the Oregon Fire, which started near Elk, have claimed nearly 340 structures in Spokane County.

County Assessor Tom Konis said residents who lost their home or outbuildings, or have property that sustained damage, are eligible for a new assessment, and then potentially a reduction or refund of property taxes.

He said appraisers will do their best to identify affected property on their own, but they may need help from owners and residents in places where the damage might not be apparent from the road.

“Our office is going to try to make this as smooth as possibly can, and take care, and get out in front of it,” he said. “But again, if the taxpayers would call, and make us aware of the property, we will get to you as soon as we safely can.”

Konis said his office will keep a running list of damaged properties, in addition to the sites they identify on their own. He said assessments will begin as soon as fire managers say it’s safe to do so.

To sign up, taxpayers can call the assessor’s office, and leave their name and address. He said appraisers plan to visit impacted communities either way.

Utility companies report 259 structures were lost in the Gray Fire, which burned near Medical Lake. The Oregon Fire, which began near Elk, has claimed an estimated 80 structures. The two fires have burned more than 33 square miles since they ignited Friday.

To add your property to the list or to find more information about the program, call 509-477-3698. You can also find information on the Spokane County Assessor’s website.