In just a one-month period the City and Borough of Juneau received nearly 400 residential property assessment appeals following what some owners in Juneau have called an “alarming” spike in the assessed value of their properties.
According to city Finance Director Jeff Rogers, that number is slightly above the normal amount the city expects to see sent in each year. Last year, the city received 321 while in 2021 it saw 422.
“I’d say we usually see around 300, so I wouldn’t say this is all that much more than what we expect,” he said.
In a memo sent to the Assembly Finance Committee Wednesday evening, Rogers gave an update on the city’s 2023 residential assessments appeals process, which began March 3 after the city released its annual assessment report and informed Juneau owners of the annual assessed values of their property.
On average, values for single-family homes in Juneau increased by 16% from last year, however, some residents have reported increases of over 40%. Property values provide a base for property tax, while a mill rate determines just how much tax citizens will pay.
Recently, the Assembly voted in committee to reduce the mill rate by about 4% compared to last year, which if approved would lower residents’ individual property tax bills some, but for most not nearly enough to keep level with the 16% average increase.
According to Rogers, of the 395 assessment appeals that were filed between March and April, 252 of them have already been closed by the Assessor’s Office without any need for action by the Board of Equalization, which began hearing cases Thursday.
Rogers said he speculates around a dozen or so appeals will be heard throughout this year’s Board of Equalization process.
On average, the corrected change in value to properties assessments in response to appeals sent is about $33,500, and the median change is about $9,400.
There are some outliers in that data, Rogers cited, with the largest correction so far being a change of $363,500 for a house that the assessor did not know was demolished when it was assessed. On the other side of the spectrum, the smallest correction made has been for $100 to correct the square footage of a deck.
The next Board of Equalization meeting is set for 5:30 p.m. June 1 and meetings will continue to be held weekly until July 21, according to the city’s website.
• Contact reporter Clarise Larson at firstname.lastname@example.org or (651)-528-1807.