Assessing Department  

2017 Delayed Property Tax Billing - Bills to be released July 28th

Property tax billings will be released July 28th to account for system enhancements

that will streamline processes and afford property owners enhanced bill-pay

opportunities, such as the ability to pay online with a credit card.   A recent migration

of CBS financial systems to Caselle Software Solutions provides new benefits for citizens,

and streamlined integration with the Assessing Department’s MARS mass appraisal system.  Information Technology Director Ron Duvall, said cost saving and streamlining

multi-departmental data input was the reasoning behind the transition to Caselle

Software Solutions. “We had an old, out of date hardware system. Caselle will make

reporting easier and more accurate.”

 

Features of the new property tax billing and sales tax collection system provides

  • a portal for property owners and business owners to view and pay their bills online
  • a commercially supported platform for servicing CBS revenue collection
  • streamlined data integration between Assessing and Finance Departments

Implementation of this system will delay the billing cycle by 30 days making 2017 property taxes due this year by September 29th.  Property tax bills will be mailed to all property owners on July 28th; those wishing to pay during July can still do so by appearing at the Finance Department Utilities’ Payment desk during their normal hours of operation of 10:00 am to 4:00 pm Monday through Friday.

 

Billing Questions:  907-747-1853

Payment Questions:  907-747-1818

Assessment Questions:  907-747-1822

 

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 annuallyPersonal 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.

 

Forms and Downloads

Links of Interest

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions about the Assessing process

F.A.Q.'s Brochure

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:

  1. Administer a property assessment that is fair, uniform, and equitable by employing the following seven procedures:
    1. Locate and identify all taxable property within the Sitka Borough
    2. Inventory the quantity, quality and important characteristics of all taxable property
    3. Accurately estimate the market value of each taxable property
    4. Calculate the taxable value(s) for each property
    5. Timely notify the owner(s) of the assessed value
    6. Respond to inquiries regarding methods and values; governing laws and regulations
    7. Prepare and certify the official assessment roll of the entire borough
  1. Provide up-to-date information about assessment and related property matters, a service grown in importance to the community over the years.

Office Hours

8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Monday - Friday (excluding holidays)

Physical Location/Mailing Address

City & Borough of Sitka

Assessing Department

100 Lincoln St, Room 108

Sitka, AK 99835

 

Department e-mail address:  assessing@cityofsitka.org

Staff

Wendy J. Lawrence, ACAA III - Assessing Director
(907) 747-1820
wendy.lawrence@cityofsitka.org

Ruth Joens - Administrative Assistant
(907) 747-1822
ruth.joens@cityofsitka.org

Josh Joseph - Appraiser I

 

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