SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska


Read My Lips
By Glen Thompson


January 22, 2007

I have two articles from the KDN posted on my wall at work. One says "Assembly cuts Budget" and the other one says "Assembly cuts Mil Rate" , both are from last year's budget cycle and I'm quite proud to have had a hand in both of them.

Since the resounding "NO!" on consolidation keeps echoing in my little brain pan, the one thing I really took away from that ordeal was the old saw: "READ MY LIPS"

I haven't heard one person from the public agree that the recently released property tax assessment represents a fair market value of their property. While I don't want to get into the specifics of the statistics and analysis used (and whether it is scientifically valid), or whether our assessors have somehow "dropped the ball" on this one, it occurs to me that the overall assessment is presented at an assembly meeting for approval. If we believe it is in the public interest to make a wholesale adjustment to the assessment, say an across-the-board decrease of 10%, why can't we?

I have asked that very question of the borough's attorney. If that is not available to us, then an appropriate adjustment in the mil rate can accomplish the same thing. I'm listening to the constituents and they are NOT happy about this valuation (or the implied increase in taxes!) and do not believe it is equitable or representative of the local market at all.

The KDN article about the auction of the polar bear on the front page of the newspaper was interesting for the story it didn't tell. We are NOT okay. Our local economy is not expanding. In fact, people are having trouble making ends meet and the government (City and Borough) needs to tighten its belt, not raise taxes.

Glen Thompson
Ketchikan, AK

Received January 20, 2007 - Published January 22, 2007

About: "Assemblymember and taxpayer."



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Ketchikan, Alaska