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Input error erroneously raised property values

A computer entry error resulted in overblown assessments for about 10 pieces of property in the Strawberry Point area, according to Island County Assessor Tom Baenen.

One of those pieces of property belongs to Andy Anders, who was shocked to see his 2.65 acres off Crescent Harbor Road valued at $140,560. Last year, the same land was valued at $51,659. New valuation statements were mailed out in late November.

Anders said he immediately went to the Assesor’s Office and talked to appraiser Mary Wilson about the $91,000 increase. She found she had made a data entry error. His recalculated assessment pegged the land’s value at only $56,000.

Although satisfied with the outcome, Anders wasn’t happy with the experience. “If I hadn’t went up there and talked about it I wouldn’t have got mine,” he said of the lowered valuation. “It really made me mad.”

Anders thought the computer entry error may have affected other properties, and he was correct, according to Baenen.

Baenen said Thursday that the same error affected about 10 other properties in the area, and all property owners will be notified by mail. He said Wilson is an experienced appraiser, but “she made a mistake.”

Anyone with questions about their property valuation should call the Assessor’s Office at 678-5111.

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