The Wahkiakum County Eagle - Established as The Skamokawa Eagle in 1891

Island land owner offers his critique of assessor


April 26, 2018

To The Eagle:

I would like to add my two cents worth to the previous Letters to The Eagle concerning Wahkiakum County Tax Assessor Bill Coons. My multiple interactions with him have also been unpleasant and unbecoming of any public servant.

After I constructed a vacation rental on South Welcome Slough Road in 2014-15, with all requisite surveys, permits and inspections, I received from the assessor’s office a Personal Property Tax form for this rental. Unaware of the requirements concerning this form, I sought information from Mr. Coons. He attempted to be intimidating by barking out personal property tax items, which seemed highly suspect to me. After consulting my tax attorney and CPA, it became apparent that Mr. Coons seemed to be ignorant of some of the tax laws.

Also, Bill Coons has had a beautiful new house built, sited at or near 202 N. Welcome Slough (property ID #2601). This house was built approximately 20 feet from the bank of the slough and according to the WA Dept. of Ecology and Shoreline District code, new construction must be erected at least 50 feet from the bank of the slough. In addition, Mr. Coons took it upon himself to have the house built without permits, surveys or septic tank approval. At present, the property is listed at the assessor's website and taxed as “land non-homesite” and valued at $24,900 with an annual tax of $334.85. Approximately a year ago, county officials in the planning department who are responsible for our compliance with existing laws and regulations, were asked to investigate this issue. To this date, it has not been resolved. [I have been told that] Mr. Coons has hired legal counsel regarding this property.

Two weeks after I reported Mr. Coons, he attempted to intimidate me further by turning me in to the Washington Dept. of Revenue. After they investigated me, I was cleared of all accusations by Mr. Coons.

Webster’s definition of malfeasance is wrong doing or misconduct, especially by a public official. This coming November, we have opportunity to vote in a man of integrity and honesty as a new county tax assessor. My full support is with Mr. Brian McClain. Please join me.

Michael Baccellieri

Puget Island

Editor's note: Given the nature of Mr. Baccellieri's letter, I decided to give Assessor Bill Coons the opportunity to respond; his response appears elsewhere on this page. --Rick Nelson, publisher.


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