Property owners ask Assessor's Office why 700 commercial land values in Juneau have suddenly increased so much - Must Read Alaska
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Tuesday, September 28, 2021
HomePoliticsProperty owners ask Assessor’s Office why 700 commercial land values in Juneau have suddenly increased so much

Property owners ask Assessor’s Office why 700 commercial land values in Juneau have suddenly increased so much

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The City and Borough of Juneau, with five years of decreasing State revenues and a year of the pandemic economic struggles, might have kept land values even.

But no. Instead, the assessment of commercial land values has resulted in an increase of up to 150% on as many as 700 properties, driving taxes up for those property owners, many of whom are not employed by the State of Alaska, but depend on private sector commerce for their livelihoods.

Over 30 of the commercial property owners said they have individually asked the city for data and explanations as to why the assessed values increased so dramatically.

Many of the taxpayers have also appealed to the Board of Equalization, but have not been able to have their challenges heard, they said.

The group said it has asked the Assessor’s Office to explain the methodology used to develop such a dramatic one-year increase in so many land values. The information is needed for the Board of Equalization can hold a fair and equitable hearing of the appeals, they said in a news release.

The Juneau taxpayers, not satisfied with the lack of response from the city, are now taking their case to the court of public opinion by issuing the press release stating their concerns. The press release was sent by local civic leader PeggyAnn McConnochie on behalf of the property owners.

In May, the Juneau Assembly considered raising and lowering the property tax rate, but ultimately left it nearly unchanged, a reduction of .10 mills, even though Rorie Watt, the city manager, had asked for a .2 mill rate increase.

Instead, the Assessor’s Office took the actual values of properties to a new high.

Property taxes are set by multiplying the mill rate, set by the Assembly, by the value as determined by the Juneau Assessor’s Office each year.

A $400,000 home in Juneau owes about $4,224 a year in property taxes.

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Suzanne Downing had careers in business and journalism before serving as the Director of Faith and Community-based Initiatives for Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and returning to Alaska to serve as speechwriter for Gov. Sean Parnell. Born on the Oregon coast, she moved to Alaska in 1969.

Latest comments

  • Ah, the disingenuous, self-serving, power-hungry statists of Juneau! I’ll say this for them, they are at least consistent in their desire to screw over the public in every way imaginable.

    • 10-4, They are constantly finding new ways!

      • Satan’s minions never rest.

  • Something doesn’t pass the smell test here… Absent a viable, legitimate explanation that is so far not forthcoming, this is challengeable. And this is what the legislature wants to do to our incomes…

  • Juneau was already $35 million in debt before this year. They have poured endless dollars into codling the homeless.

    This was inevitable. Gotta feed the beast.

  • I recently joined the Board of Equalization as a volunteer. There are five of us. Three get chosen for hearings while two are in reserve. I’m currently on reserve due to employment conflicts. Seems a small number for so many needed cases. The name “Board of Equalization” has been a curiosity for me. Who is being equalized? I haven’t found out yet but I have some leave from my employment coming up so I do plan on more involvement. Keep you posted.

  • Here is CBJ Finance director on this subject: “Commercial assessments have been flat for about 10 years. We’ve long suspected we were under assessing value,” Rogers said. “Up until now, we haven’t had the tools and expertise to change it.”
    These folks can whine all they want but they don’t have the data on their side IMO.

    • So, Bill, are you suggesting that commercial property values have risen by 150% in the last ten years? REALLY? I suggest that, as usual, it is not you (and the Juneau tax-hungry sociopaths) who have “the data” on their side.
      .
      How sad for you and your statist, authoritarian ilk. First you lose “the science”, and then you lose “the data”. Face it, your side is simply losing it.

      • At first I thought you had something important to say but now, I see you have nothing but dribbling Babel to say on all subjects. You are so full of hate I wonder how you sleep at night. You always have some untruthful spin to try to whip up your minions. I think I know why you’re in Alaska and I also think I know why you won’t divulge your true identity on here.

        • As usual for a radical leftist, Greg, all you have is hatred, invective, ad hominem attacks, and utter diversion from the issue and topic under discussion.
          Address the points I raised directly and logically.

    • Actually we do have the data. And they don’t seem to. Don’t make blanket statements on subjects you apparently know nothing about Bill.

      • Talk is cheap Dave, whiskey costs money. You say you have the data but then don’t produce. So far all you got is your opinion (they don’t seem to)-that doesn’t sound like your heart is in this. Heheh!
        I can’t say just how much assessments on residential property have increased in the last 10 years but everyone knows it’s been quite high as property values have jumped. Likely some commercial values have done similarly yet also some have been hurt by tourism issues relative to pandemic.
        This group best have their ducks lined up as this finance director says they now have the ability to determine commercial values-good luck to you bunch of whiners. I see you’ve gotten Jefferson to also do some whining trying to win a friend. What a country!
        We’ll get to see this play out-anyone taking bets?

    • Regardless of who has data, it is incredible to imagine 700 properties in differing locations all increasing by precisely 50% at the same time. Whether its 10-years or 1-year the incredulity is equally profound.

      • You say 50% and Jefferson says 150%-obvious you can’t both be right and likely both are wrong.
        But keep em coming as everyone likes to see businessmen whine when they are asked to pay their fair share. Heheh!
        I loved the part where some speculate that business paying up may mean residential owners may get some tax relief.

        • Obviously not as smart as you think you are. Everyone knows that once they raise the tax rates, they rarely, if at all, every lower them back down. Just like you are seeing with most every thing you buy today. Once they condition you to paying a higher price for goods and services, they will not lower it back down to where it was before.

          • Talk about smart Wolf, this is not about tax rates but about assessed valuations-do you even know the difference? Heheh!

        • Bill, its a small communication glitch. Remember from 3rd grade, increasing a number by 50% results in a number 150% of the original.

          • Jefferson making a communication glitch? Say it isn’t so Wayne. And here I thought it was that figures don’t lie but liars do figure. Anyway, he specifically said that they increased by 150% and you’ve taken the time to look into what he meant-You think he is salvageable? Heheh!

          • Say Wayne, did you notice that McConnochie made the same mistake that Jefferson did???
            What a country that these business whiners all tend to not know the math-how do they stay in business? Heheh!

    • If you parse what leftists actually say to justify their actions you often see right through their “logic.”
      Apparently the finance department has lacked the “tools and expertise” to properly assess property values until very recently.
      That raises the question of how did they properly assess the values that they’ve been using to charge people property taxes up to now? Guesswork???
      And who’ve they been hiring to do the work all these years? A bunch of incompetents???
      Assessing property values is about as straightforward as it gets and if the incompetents working in Juneau who’ve been taxing people on pure guessing never tumbled to the idea of just picking up the phone to consult with other municipal property assessors in other places then they’re even more incompetent than we might suspect.

  • Does said data factor in damage to city and private property done by the army of homeless running wild around Juneau?

    When much of downtown is Skid Row, values usually plummet.

    This is a Pelosi style money grab. Just that simple

  • Don’t feed the Heheh troll

  • Why have assessed property values risen dramatically? That’s an easy one…they need the extra tax dollars to fund bloated government services. Private property values are probably spiking too…haha.

  • They had my property assessed a million dollars over what I had just paid for it. The data is not on their side.

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