The Juneau Assembly will host a public meeting Wednesday night to get an overview of the city and borough’s new assessment process.
At a recent hearing on Fiscal Year 2014 budget revisions, a handful of land owners complained about the new method of calculating a property’s value. They testified about large, unexplained increases in assessed values that don’t track with recently sold property of similar size, condition and location.
Assembly Finance Committee Chair Karen Crane says the assessment overview will be an opportunity for the public and Assembly to learn more about the new process.
“I’ve had people calling me and asking me questions, and so have other Assembly members,” Crane says. “So, we just want to be certain that we understand the new process that was used this year fully. And it gives the public also an opportunity to ask questions.”
According to a memo from City Finance Director Bob Bartholomew, the city made two significant changes to the assessment methodology this year. It started using a new “Cluster land modeling” system that puts properties into 21 distinct clusters or neighborhoods for the purposes of determining value. Also this year, the Assessor’s Office started using a new method of determining the value of residential structures. Bartholomew says it more accurately allocates the total value for improved property between the structure and underlying land.
The meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. Wednesday, after the Finance Committee holds its regular meeting on other FY 14 budget topics.
- The Haines area used to be a Tlingit stronghold, ruled by an alliance between the prosperous Chilkat and Chilkoot people. A new Haines Sheldon Museum exhibit explores how the Native territory gradually gave way to white settlement in the late 1800s. The exhibit will anchor the museum’s upstairs space for at least two years.
- "If this technology goes the way that leading experts are predicting, we could see the entire corridor as a freeway could be autonomous by 2040,” said transportation consultant Scott Kuznicki.
- Concerns over animal welfare have led to changes in recent years in how livestock are raised. But seafood has been missing from the conversation. One group aims to change that.
- “I don’t know if the gravity really is hitting everybody, but we’ve been arguing for recognition since statehood, and under this administration the attorney general has provided an opinion that, yes, tribes do exist, that we have inherent sovereignty,” said Richard Peterson, president of the Central Council of Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska.