March 18, 2020 12:25 PM
Treasurer, Auditor & Assessor Move to Virtual Customer Service in COVID-19 Response
Offices of the Spokane County Treasurer, Auditor, and Assessor will move their customer service operations to a virtual format effective March 19th until May 1st. Citizens can still receive services online, via email or regular mail, and by phone.
In response to Governor and Health Authority mandates limiting public crowd size, the Offices of the Spokane County Treasurer, Auditor, and Assessor will move their customer service operations to a virtual format effective Thursday March 19th and lasting until May 1st. Citizens can still receive services online, via email or regular mail, and by phone.
This means citizens wishing to access Treasury, Auditor or Assessor services who arrive on site at the Courthouse will not be served in person at the front counters. Citizens who have a complex issue that may require a face-to-face meeting with staff will be able to call or email to schedule an in-person meeting.
This virtual customer service decision affects only the Offices of the Treasurer, Auditor and Assessor and not other Spokane County Offices or departments. At the Courthouse, the Treasurer, Auditor and Assessor share a lobby entrance that can attract up to 500 people per day during the busy property tax season, far above Governor Inslee’s State of Emergency proclamation limiting crowd size to 50 persons and above recent White House guidance of limiting public gatherings to a maximum of 10 people. Furthermore, increased foot traffic can quickly lead to lines forming in conflict with recommended social distancing guidelines of six feet of separation.
“Our employees are committed to providing outstanding service to the public during these challenging times,” said Auditor Vicky Dalton. “If somebody needs a marriage license or documents recorded they will still be able to do it and we will make sure to help walk them through it over the phone or by email.”
Michael Baumgartner, the Spokane County Treasurer highlighted that citizens do not need to physically come to the courthouse to pay their taxes.
“Property taxes can readily be paid online or by mail.” said Baumgartner. “For those wishing to come down to the Courthouse, we will continue to have a tax payment drop-box inside the Courthouse entrance. Those experiencing hardships making their property tax payments are encouraged to contact our office as soon as possible to discuss all available options.”
“Our staff will still be here and working hard,” said Assessor Tom Konis. “If somebody needs help finding out if they qualify for tax payment assistance or have questions about their property assessments our staff will be available by phone and email.”
Each of Baumgartner, Dalton and Konis stressed that citizens with questions should not hesitate to call their respective offices:
Contact information for Treasurer, Auditor & Assessor Offices:
•Treasurer: (509) 477-4713 (Property Tax Collection, Excise Taxes)
•Auditor: (509) 477-2270 (Recording & Marriage Licenses)
•Auditor: (509) 477-2222 (Vehicle Licensing & Titling)
•Assessor (509) 477-3698 (Property Assessment, Senior & Disabled Exemptions)
The Treasurer, Auditor & Assessor will hold a media availability at 1:00 P.M. Wednesday March 18th in front of the Spokane County Courthouse to provide further details regarding the transition to virtual customer service.
By moving to a virtual format, we can do our best to follow the State of Emergency guidance and take sensible steps to keep both the public and our employees safe.