Annual Assessment Revaluation – January 1, 2017:
Taxable property located within the borough has been valued and assessment notices were mailed March 14th. The taxbase increased to $1.08 billion this year with a net increase in real property value of $48M (4.6%), and a net decrease of -$2.7M (-2.8%) for personal property. Real property gains included an estimated $14.7M in new construction, and were offset by a net decrease of -$2.3M due to continued increases in exemptions, primarily the senior-citizen, disabled-veteran exemption. The average value increase this year is $29,800 per property, which amounts to about 8% of market value on the single-family average sales price of $362,100.
Real property transfers continued to be strong in 2016 with 42% of sales prices disclosed to the Assessing Department, leaving 58% of relevant market data unavailable for valuation purposes. A good percentage of Sitka’s sales are not professionally marketed, moving by word of mouth or alternate advertising means, and thus cannot be found on a multiple listing service database. In addition, 48.5% of this year’s sales were cash transactions which also may not appear in centralized market database. All of these factors combined, leave holes in the data available to the assessor for valuation analysis and can have an effect on the accuracy of assessed values. Despite these challenges the following facts were gleaned from the sales information that was disclosed and are provided for reference.
You can review the full Assessment Revaluation Report 2017 here.
Changes in Personal Property Taxation for 2017:
Personal property consists of boats, airplanes, machinery & equipment and is handled a little differently. Because it is movable and can be proprietary in nature, state and local law places responsibility on the property owner to report its ownership annually. Personal Property taxation changes for 2017 include the exemption of all boats and light-aircraft. The Assembly, at its December 27th meeting exempted these personal property items, but retained the taxation of Business Personal Property to include non-light aircraft. The Assembly also retained the exemption of business personal property totaling less than $25,000 in value, and the $100 fee for non-timely filing businesses.
Therefore, it is important for you to inventory and report any changes in your personal property holdings every year by February 15th; failure to do so will result in a $100 failure to file fee. This fee has been in place since 2013 and will not be waived by the Assessing Department. Your personal property assessment is appealable through both the formal and informal review process, but the failure to file fee is not.
Assessment Review – March 14th-April 14th:
The Assessing Department will continue to offer property owners the ability to review assessments, discuss property details, or secure information about the valuation methodology during the informal review period of March 14th to April 14th. It is your duty as a property owner to examine your assessment record, and to provide any and all market data to support a value conclusion that is different from the one on your notice.
We encourage you to visit our office during this time and review our sales file for comparable properties when reviewing your assessment. If you are seeking a value adjustment, information required for this request will be a recent appraisal, a HUD closing statement, or recent comparable sales to support your opinion of value, and a comprehensive property inspection will be mandatory.
If you feel your concerns about your assessed value have not been adequately addressed you have the right to file a formal appeal by doing so in writing before 4:00PM April 14th, 2017, to schedule a hearing before the Board of Equalization.
Forms and Downloads
The Assessing department is responsible for assessing the value of all properties within the City and Borough of Sitka boundaries; and administers all State and Borough exemptions as set forth in State Statutes and Borough Code. The department also maintains property record information, which includes ownership, address, assessed value, and legal property descriptions.
Assessing has two primary missions:
Provide up-to-date information about assessment and related property matters, a service grown in importance to the community over the years.
8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Monday - Friday (excluding holidays)
Physical Location/Mailing AddressCity & Borough of Sitka
Assessing Department100 Lincoln St, Room 108
Sitka, AK 99835
Department e-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Wendy J. Lawrence, ACAA III - Assessing Director
Ruth Joens - Administrative Assistant