The Daily Mash-Up

Tuesday, September 01, 2015 This Week's Paper

Pierce County property tax statements that were mailed last week are missing one small element - the county's return address on the payment stubs.

The envelopes, however, are imprinted with a bar code that machines use to direct the envelopes to the correct address. But since technology is ... well, technology ... Assessor-Treasurer Mike Lonergan recommends that property tax payers take the extra step of writing the following address above the small window on the envelope: PO Box 11621, Tacoma, WA 98411-6621.

The correct mailing address can also be found on the back of the payment stub under "Payment Options By Mail."

"We apologize for any confusion this may have caused," Lonergan said. "This was a printing error by a vendor, and we are checking our processes to make sure this does not happen again."

Taxpayers who have questions can call the Assessor-Treasurer's customer service line at (253) 798-6111.

The annual tax statements were mailed on Feb. 15 to 184,000 residents and business owners. The remainder of tax bills go to mortgage holders, so those property owners can look online to see the taxes due for 2013. The information is available at www.piercecountywa.org/atr; click on “Parcel and Sales Search” in the menu.

There are a total of 330,000 taxable parcels in Pierce County.

Most residents will see their property taxes level with last year or slightly reduced, based on tax rates and special levies imposed by about 100 taxing districts in Pierce County. Increases will be more common in the Franklin Pierce School District due to a new Capital Projects Levy passed by the voters, and in DuPont, Edgewood and Key Peninsula, which experienced changes in school and fire district levies. New this year is a countywide flood control tax of 10 cents per thousand dollars of property value.

“Even though Pierce County collects the taxes, it is the public school districts that receive most of the revenue, through the state school tax, plus local levies and bond issues approved by a vote of the people," Lonergan said. "Cities, towns, roads, parks, libraries and the Port also receive smaller portions."

The first-half payment of property taxes is due by April 30, with the second half to be paid by Oct. 31.

At last, we at the Tacoma Weekly have the answer to the question so many readers have been asking: Are you guys nuts? Yes. Yes we are, and proud of it, too.

Pierce County Sheriff’s Detective and PIO Ed Troyer asked us to round up a team of staff, friends and readers to jump into Puget Sound.

He’s organizing Pierce County’s Polar Plunge (Freezin’ for a Reason!) to raise money for Special Olympics, and we’re proud to join the roster of teams as TacomaWeekly Strong. We’ll meet Sat., Feb. 23, at Owen Beach. Check-in runs from 9-11 a.m., with a costume contest at 11:30 a.m. and the dash to a shivery doom at noon.

Now we’re inviting you to join our team, TacomaWeekly Strong. You can sign up to plunge with TacomaWeekly Strong or to cheer/heckle/cackle from the Chicken Coop. Either way, you get the event T-shirt if you register and raise $50 in donations.

We offer one more option for those who want to support the Special Olympics without the spectacle of adults running into Puget Sound when they should know better: You can go to the Pierce County Polar Plunge website, and make a donation backing anyone any team.

At last, we at the Tacoma Weekly have the answer to the question so many readers have been asking: Are you guys nuts? Yes. Yes we are, and proud of it, too.

Pierce County Sheriff’s Detective and PIO Ed Troyer asked us to round up a team of staff, friends and readers to jump into Puget Sound.

He’s organizing Pierce County’s Polar Plunge (Freezin’ for a Reason!) to raise money for Special Olympics, and we’re proud to join the roster of teams as TacomaWeekly Strong. We’ll meet Sat., Feb. 23, at Owen Beach. Check-in runs from 9-11 a.m., with a costume contest at 11:30 a.m. and the dash to a shivery doom at noon.

Now we’re inviting you to join our team, TacomaWeekly Strong. You can sign up to plunge with TacomaWeekly Strong or to cheer/heckle/cackle from the Chicken Coop. Either way, you get the event T-shirt if you register and raise $50 in donations.

We offer one more option for those who want to support the Special Olympics without the spectacle of adults running into Puget Sound when they should know better: You can go to the Pierce County Polar Plunge website, and make a donation backing anyone any team.

With a grant from The Russell Family Foundation, the University of Washington-Tacoma will host the first-ever film festival focused on the Puyallup River Watershed.
The festival invites all individuals, middle schools, high schools, and colleges or universities and non-profit organizations located in the watershed to submit two- to three-minute videos related to issues affecting the Puyallup River and its tributaries. Any digital format will be accepted.

The festival will screen all entries in an evening film festival in late October that will be open to the public. Winners in each category will be selected by the audience and prizes will be awarded. All entries will be made available to the public to view on a website being developed to showcase educational materials and outreach efforts in the Puyallup River Watershed.

The idea for this festival comes from the making of UWT’s documentary, "Water Undone: The Efforts to Save the Puyallup River Watershed," released in 2010 that was funded by The Russell Family Foundation and UWT’s Founders Endowment.

The Puyallup River watershed is a major source of freshwater into Puget Sound through Commencement Bay in Tacoma. But it suffers from a multitude of pollution problems, including policies on "land use favoring paving and shingles," as detailed in the UWT documentary. The program takes viewers through the interwoven watershed-river system that supplies water for drinking, irrigation, recreation, food, wildlife and the natural beauty of the Northwest. It explains how spreading urbanization threatens the Puget Sound area's water supply and lays out the case for improvement: to clean up Puget Sound, start with the watersheds.

Since hour-long documentaries are often too long for use in most classrooms, and students and the public want short videos that they can watch on YouTube or on their cell phones, the creators of Water Undone want to see fresh ideas and different approaches to getting information on watershed issues out to the public. To see an example created by students at Tacoma’s Lincoln High School, go to view their video, "What is a Watershed?"

If you are interested, but do not have access to a video camera, don’t despair since sponsors have easy-to-use video cameras film makers can borrow for filming. Project staff are also available for presentations and expert assistance. Register at https://catalyst.uw.edu/webq/survey/jimgawel/192838 before May 1, to participate.

Pierce County broadcast touches on news of the day

This week’s 20-minute newscast about Pierce County news produced by PCTV and available on channel 22 Comcast and Click! as well as online at www.piercecountytv.org/pcn covers a practice SWAT drill in Puyallup, Pierce Transit effort to save some weekend service, a look at future transportation costs and showcases long lines for concealed pistol licenses around the county.

Tacoma Arts Month University Dental
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