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.