Commercial property owners throughout the city filed 210 tax appeals this year. On Wednesday night, Jeff Rogers, finance director for the City and Borough of Juneau, told the city’s Finance Committee that 130  appeals had been closed and 80 appeals remain open. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire File)

Commercial property tax appeals continue

No appellant has won so far.

Commercial property owners filed a torrent of appeals earlier this year after the city increased the base land value by 50% throughout the borough, triggering property tax increases for local business owners.

On Wednesday night, Jeff Rogers, finance director for the City and Borough of Juneau, told the city’s Finance Committee that 130 of 210 commercial property appeals had been closed and 80 appeals remain open.

Rogers said the Board of Equalization has not yet found in favor of an appellant and that four appellants are proceeding to the superior court in a quest to overturn this year’s tax assessment.

“It’s been challenging and has consumed a ton of resources on the city side and for appellants,” Rogers told committee members. “I understand that appellants are quite frustrated by the decisions of the BOE.”

Rogers explained that in an appeal, the burden of proof falls upon the appellant, who must prove the assessor made an error while assessing the parcel.

[Sales tax collection surpasses city’s projection]

“The process is about finding and correcting errors. It’s not really about evaluating opinions,” Rogers said.

Rogers said that appeals move forward at a pace of about ten cases a week.

“I wish I could tell you when we would be done. We will keep moving,” Rogers said. “We won’t be done by the new year. Some of the cases are just very complicated.”

Escalating evaluations

After a decade of relatively flat assessments, commercial property owners saw their property’s assessed valuation increase dramatically earlier this year after the city increased the base land value throughout the borough by 50% as part of the assessment.

Earlier this year, CBJ faced a record number of appeals over the process.

[Holiday favorite returns to the stage]

In prior meetings and interviews with the Empire, Rogers said the city used a mass appraisal model to determine the right assessment level. He said the model looked at available selling prices and compared them to assessed value. He said the assessor works with minimal data because buyers and sellers are not required to disclose sales data to the city.

Opponents contend that each section of town should be evaluated independently.

• Contact reporter Dana Zigmund at dana.zigmund@juneauempire.com or 907-308-4891.

More in News

This picture shows recent editions of the Juneau Empire. (Ben Hohenstatt/Juneau Empire)
Pathfinder to Point Louisa, Auke Recreation Area on Jan. 3. (Courtesy Photo / Kenneth Gill, gillfoto).
Wild Shots: Photos of Mother Nature in Alaska

Reader-submitted photos of Southeast Alaska.

In this satellite image taken by Himawari-8, a Japanese weather satellite, and released by the agency, shows an undersea volcano eruption at the Pacific nation of Tonga Saturday, Jan. 15, 2022. An undersea volcano erupted in spectacular fashion near the Pacific nation of Tonga on Saturday, sending large waves crashing across the shore and people rushing to higher ground. (Japan Meteorology Agency)
Update: Tsunami advisory canceled for Southeast Alaska

It applies to Southeast from the BC border to Cape Fairweather.

This undated electron microscope image made available by the U.S. National Institutes of Health in February 2020 shows the Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, yellow, emerging from the surface of cells, blue/pink, cultured in the lab. Also known as 2019-nCoV, the virus causes COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, NIAID-RML
COVID at a Glance for Friday, Jan. 14, 2022

Numbers come from reports from the City and Borough of Juneau Emergency… Continue reading

Courtesy photo / Juneau Raptor Center 
This golden eagle was rescued by the Juneau Raptor Center over the summer after being found weak and thin.
All the birds I’ve known: Rescue center, birdwatchers look back on 2021

The Christmas bird count was way down this year.

Platypus-Con, a board and card game convention, is set for later this month in Centennial Hall. (Courtesy Photo | Unsplash)
It’s game on for Platypus-Con

After a year off, it’s back.

It's a police car until you look closely and see the details don't quite match. (Juneau Empire File / Michael Penn)
Police calls for Sunday, Jan. 16, 2022

This report contains public information from law enforcement and public safety agencies.

It's a police car until you look closely and see the details don't quite match. (Juneau Empire File / Michael Penn)
Police calls for Friday, Jan. 14, 2022

This report contains public information from law enforcement and public safety agencies.

Most Read