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GATES QUESTIONS TAX APPRAISAL

The county says Bill Gates' new lakefront home is worth more than $53 million. The richest man in America wants a second opinion.

The Microsoft Corp. co-founder, who spent the past seven years building his 40,000-square-foot mansion in the moneyed Seattle suburb of Medina, is questioning his 1998 tax appraisal.

Brent Wilde, King County's chief appraiser, said the bill is based on construction costs, which were stretched out because of design changes. But Gates has argued it might be more realistic to base it on what he could get for the property if he should sell it.

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