Obscurity: The Race to Replace Noble

Ron Sims isn't the only person leaving a seat open this election year. King County Assessor Scott Noble drank too much and crashed into a jeep, so his seat is now open as well -- and people you've never heard of are jumping in to replace him.

The assessor is one of those elected offices that means nothing to renters, so it's easy to forget the position exists. But if you own your house, it's a big deal. Basically the assessor oversees the army of people who go out and decide how much your house and land is worth--and accordingly how much you should be paying in property taxes. Noble's deputy Richard Medved has already announced his intention to get in, and this weekend, Port Commissioner Lloyd Hara jumped in as well, saying in a press release: "Taxpayers are looking for a King County Assessor who understands the value of a dollar and understands what's happened over the past year to homeowners' property values. Taxpayers deserve a fair shake."

Does that mean everyone who bought a home three years ago for $500,000 and now could sell it for the price of a Mercer Island doghouse will get a break on their taxes? I wouldn't hold my breath.

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