A for sale sign sits outside a house in the Mendenhall Valley area. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire File)

A for sale sign sits outside a house in the Mendenhall Valley area. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire File)

Opinion: I’m voting no on Prop 4 because I’m in favor of truth and fairness.

When assessments are more accurate, taxes are more equitable, and all property owners benefit,

  • By Eric A. Kueffner
  • Monday, September 12, 2022 11:14am
  • Opinion

I am voting no on Proposition No. 4 because I am in favor of truth and fairness. The ordinance that is the subject of this repeal effort reflects the city’s effort to make real property assessments more fair and accurate by requiring the disclosure of the sales price when property is sold. When assessments are more accurate, property taxes are more equitable and all property owners benefit.

Opponents of the ordinance have a vested interest in keeping sale prices secret from the city because they want a monopoly on that information. Claims about the need for “privacy” disguise the fact that sales prices are known and shared among the real estate professionals who are the major proponents of the repeal effort. In other words, they want privacy for their privilege, and secrecy for their own knowledge.

A Yes vote will grant this privilege to a select group and establish secrecy that renders the property assessment process less fair and less equitable. If you want a fair taxation system and if you want everyone to operate with the same information, vote No on Proposition 4. A No vote will maintain a fair and just system in which all property owners reveal the same information and the city is able to use that information for everyone’s benefit.

• Eric A. Kueffner is a retired lawyer who was in private practice in Juneau for over thirty years. Columns, My Turns and Letters to the Editor represent the view of the author, not the view of the Juneau Empire. Have somethincg to say? Here’s how to submit a My Turn or letter.

More in Opinion

Have something to say?

Here’s how to add your voice to the conversation.

A by-mail ballot asks voters in 2020 to approve a measure calling for rank choice voting, which was approved. A petition is now circulating calling for another ballot measure to repeal rank choice. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire file photo)
Opinion: Failed election shows why Alaska should repeal ranked-choice voting

Most Americans just want elections where it’s easy to vote, hard to… Continue reading

Visitors take a selfie on the downtown cruise ship docks in July. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire file photo)
My Turn: Know who you’re sitting with at the table

As a professional who has sat at many a negotiating table, I… Continue reading

Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy delivers remarks at the Rolling Back Regulations to Help All Americans event Thursday, July 16, 2020, on the South Lawn of the White House. (Official White House Photo | Joyce N. Boghosian)
Opinion: A constitutional defense of the administrative state

In the summer of 2020, then-Vice President Mike Pence told an audience… Continue reading

Former Juneau Mayor Ken Koelsch in 2018. (Michael Penn / Juneau Empire file photo)
My Turn: Assembly needs to retreat

We might not be privy to what the Assembly’s agenda is, but… Continue reading

The Stikine River Flats area in the Tongass National Forest is viewed from a helicopter on July 19, 2021. The Stikine River flows from British Columbia to Southeast Alaska. It is one of the major transboundary rivers impacted by mines in British Columbia. (Photo by Alicia Stearns/U.S. Forest Service)
Opinion: Facing transboundary mining, Alaskans shouldn’t buy industry rhetoric

“Rest assured,” writes Michael Goehring, president of the British Columbia Mining Association,… Continue reading

(Juneau Empire File)
Letter: Attorney general’s letter to libraries are an abuse of office

Earlier this month Treg Taylor, Alaska’s attorney general, published a letter to… Continue reading

An aging outhouse overlooks Tenakee Inlet. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire File)
My Turn: Murkowski’s bill will dramatically change map of public land in Southeast Alaska

There has been very little reporting on federal legislation that would greatly… Continue reading

(Photo courtesy of the City and Borough of Juneau)
Opinion: Choosing a seat at the table

To advocates for limiting cruise ship tourism and combatting climate change, partnering… Continue reading

Most Read