I am writing to publicly thank the CBJ Assembly for passing the ordinance requiring the disclosure of real estate sales prices to the CBJ assessor.
We were all shocked at the sales price of the waterfront property to Norwegian Cruise Line last year and would never have known the real value of that property if it had not been sold by a public entity. While the value of most residential property can be easily determined by published real estate listings, this is not the case for high-end, custom homes, or advantageously-sited commercial properties.
Last year, two local businesses, Annie Kaill’s and Hearthside Books, were forced out of their Front Street locations by extraordinary rent increases. I believe the recent purchaser of that property decided those storefront locations were worth the increased rent on the basis of the sales price.
The assessor not having access to information on sales prices is being forced to work in the dark. If valuable properties are under-assessed, those of us who own modest homes that are fairly assessed are paying a disproportionate share of property taxes. I am happy the Assembly has given the assessor another tool to use in determining the fairness of property assessments.
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