KINGSTON — In 2006, the Kitsap County commissioners rezoned Jo Nelson’s 75 acres on West Kingston Road, incorporating her property into an expanded urban growth area for Kingston. The rezone doubled Nelson’s property values — and her property taxes — on the undeveloped land. Nelson, who lives in Hansville, paid the higher taxes, which totaled roughly $10,000 a year, even though she had no immediate plans to develop the land.
The big surprise came this year, when the county commissioners removed Nelson’s land from the Kingston Urban Growth Area and returned it to rural density. In all, some 7,200 acres were pulled back out of urban growth areas throughout the county, as the commissioners attempted to comply with a ruling from the state’s Growth Management Hearings Board.
Seeing how she and the zoning are back to where they were before 2006, Nelson believes it is only fair that she get reimbursed for what she paid in higher taxes. What is especially irritating, she said, is that she won’t see her taxes go back down until 2014, because the values are established on Jan. 1 of the year before. Next year’s taxes will be based on the value established on Jan. 1, 2012, a time when her property was still within the urban growth area.