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King County Assessor John Wilson Biography

Photo of King County Assessor, John Wilson
King County Assessor John Wilson

King County Assessor John Wilson was reelected in 2019 to his second term. He has earned the praise of people both inside and outside King County as one of the most innovative, forward-thinking leaders in local government.

Working with community organizations, Wilson urged Olympia to pass the most significant senior property tax relief in decades. As a result, thousands of new applicants will be able to stay in their homes.

Housing and homelessness are crucial issues, and Wilson has become a regional leader in identifying surplus public property and vacant private property that can be used for innovative short and long-term housing solutions.

Under Wilson's leadership, the Assessor's office developed a ground-breaking Taxpayer Transparency Tool, allowing you to see how upcoming ballot measures will impact your property taxes – whether you're a homeowner or renter.

The Assessor's office has spearheaded innovations that dramatically increased the accuracy of in-field data and improved productivity – without increasing costs. Wilson also helped pass state and county legislation making it easier to correct errors and reimburse taxpayers for tax overpayments.

Wilson served as Chief Deputy Assessor for four years. His work gained a reputation for savvy development of mobile technology and public-facing solutions that enhance customer service while driving down costs. During his tenure, he rebuilt the department’s website, increasing traffic 10-fold to nearly 4 million page-views a month.

Following on his work in the Department of Assessments, Wilson joined King County's Information Technology staff, where he led a countywide effort to build an "innovation culture" by encouraging employees and departments to think differently. He also played an essential role in refining and improving the deployment of a new Microsoft-based Unified Communications platform.

Throughout his career, Wilson has created high-performance teams or projects in the public and private sectors.

Wilson has also served as a key staff member for leading public officials. He worked as Communications Director for the late former Congressman Al Swift. He was the first Public Information Director for the Northwest Power Planning Council, while former Washington Gov. Dan Evans was chair. And Wilson served both as Communications Director and Chief of Staff to former King County Executive Ron Sims. Working for Sims, Wilson helped drive regional efforts on freight mobility, expanding parks and open space, and building greater regional collaboration on transportation, the environment, and other critical local government services.

As a reporter, then producer, and finally executive producer at KING 5 News, Wilson's work won the prestigious DuPont Columbia Award (broadcast's equivalent to the Pulitzer Prize) three times in five years – professional recognition unmatched by any television station in the Seattle-area market. His broadcast work has appeared on KING, ABC Network News, NBC Network News, and CNN. Wilson also earned print journalism awards as a reporter at The Seattle Times and Seattle Weekly.

As a leading public affairs consultant in the Pacific Northwest, Wilson was retained by former Gov. Gary Locke to develop the nationally winning strategy to keep Boeing building the 787 Dreamliner at Everett. He helped the American Civil Liberties Union lay the foundation to reform state marijuana laws. Because of his keen understanding of United States and Canadian trade, Wilson was chosen by the State of Washington and Whatcom County to identify trade and economic opportunities related to the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver, B.C.

Wilson has four grown children, two sons, and two daughters. For relaxation, Wilson loves to read, cook on weekends, listen to jazz, hike, and travel.