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Little pink envelopes for you and me

PORT ORCHARD — Valentine’s Day is almost here, so that means all Kitsap County property owners will get their pink-enveloped greeting from the government. Instead of a little love note, it’s their annual property tax bill.

Former Kitsap County treasurer Billie Eder — who went on to serve as a county commissioner — introduced the pink envelopes in the 1970s. Sharon Shrader, her successor, used white envelopes for a year but was chastised by the public for doing so.

Current treasurer Barbara Stephenson has upheld the tradition as she plans to collect $252,919,777 this year from county property owners.

Property owners can pay their bill any time between Feb. 15 and Oct. 31, although half of the amount is due by April 30.

Those who choose to defer the payment do not get a reminder.

While the envelopes remain the same, Stephenson has instituted a series of technology-related improvements since taking office in 2003. All tax statements are viewable online, and mailed statements now contained assessed value and tax amount for the last two years, for the purpose of comparison.

“People think that when their assessed value increases, their taxes follow,”

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