Chilkat Valley News - Serving Haines and Klukwan, Alaska since 1966

Assessments aren't based on equality


This letter is to point out that the huge land assessment increases that were made this year by the borough, some of which appeared in the newspaper, are unfair and not fair market value. They seemed targeted to a relatively few land properties.

I am looking at the assessments over the past 40 years and they have never taken such a radical jump ever. In that period there were some amateur assessors and some very professional ones. This unprecedented change seems to say that all the previous assessors were completely incompetent.

The state claims we are only at 85 percent of true market value. I don’t know when they made this study or what they used to determine this. However, we do know that property values throughout the United States have taken a sharp drop in the past few years. I also don’t know if this determination found that a relatively few land values were off several hundred percent and this was the main shortfall, but I question that.

From the statistics and general information in the Chilkat Valley News, it says that we were 85 percent of true market value and are now 98 percent. If 51 percent were relatively unchanged it looks like most of the 13 percent increase was remedied by the excessive land value increases of a fairly small number of land owners. This hardly meets the criteria of equality.

Thomas Quinlan


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