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Rebate is already spent

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We were delighted to receive our federal tax rebate. What would we do with our newfound fortune? Maybe have the radio in the car fixed, or maybe a few needed repairs around the house!

Arriving in the same batch of mail was our property tax assessment. We were amazed to learn that the value of our property had increased by almost 40 percent in a single year, and that, if the new budget is approved, we'll be taking our rebate check from the federal government and handing it over to the county government, plus paying a little extra. I don't think this is what President Bush had in mind when he said tax rebates would help stimulate the economy.

We were told we could appeal the Notice of Valuation and Tax Change. We'd merely have to take time off work to collect the needed documents, mail them in, or appear in person. Our neighbor, whose taxes had also risen significantly, gathered all the needed documentation to show that no home in our area had sold for anywhere near the new valuations and presented it as specified. His claim was denied. Another neighbor told of her experience several years earlier when she had appealed her increase. She was told if she didn't like the new numbers, they could always make them higher.

It may still be worth the time to appeal, but we won't be spending the rebate check on anything else until we know for sure.

Suzanne Hansen