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

Assessments amount to manipulation


In Haines there is no elected tax assessor for the voters to hold accountable for unconstitutional or just plain stupid behavior. The tax assessor function is important. Taxation without representation means the government is taking ownership. The borough hired a contractor to perform this function.

In Haines this year, reportedly, valuations for property tax purposes (assessments) were determined by “computer modeling” using data from real estate markets in unique, diverse and geographically distant locations. The borough manager stated this was “appropriate.” Is it appropriate to use magic-sounding words and bold assertions to disguise manipulation and deception?

Many appeals were made to the contractor. Too bad if you work, have family responsibilities or were surprised (because no cause for change had occurred) and missed the deadline to appeal. (Your mill rate gets lowered if you play along?)

The Haines Borough Assembly doesn’t need a contract tax assessor. They can follow an accepted method such as Lower of Cost or Market (the IRS uses that one), in which case all the necessary, verifiable, information flows through the borough office in the regular course of business. Otherwise, drop the Machiavellian deceptions and let Prince Mark act as the market, set the values and determine the tax rates like a good 16th century Italian nobleman or National Socialist. What was the market trend in Nazi Germany? When taxation is uncertain, risk of loss is increased and value must be discounted.

Save the pool, lose the fools.

Michael G. Pippin, CMA (Ret.)


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