SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska


Property Taxes
By Wayne Phillips


February 18, 2008
Monday AM

I am quite perplexed at the annual property assessment increases that the Ketchikan Borough has imposed. I too, disagreed with the borough s assessment last year and had a representative walk through my home in order to reassess their initial findings. The gentleman that walked around and through my home was certainly professional. However, I disapprove of the idea that any government entity should have the ability to intrude in on my privacy.

So I guess once again, I must disagree with the blanket "Market Valuation" increases and have someone encroach upon my privacy for the second straight year. I think that it is safe to say that most people would rather just go along than put up with this type of governmental big brother prying. After last year's re-adjustment to my property assessment, there was still an increase to my taxes. I was contacted recently by my mortgage company letting me know that because of last year's assessment I would be seeing a mortgage payment increase to cover the borough's new tax hike.

The Borough assessor's office position is to remind one that houses in your area (the south end of Ketchikan, in my case) are selling for "higher than average prices", as well as the ever popular "well don't you think your house will sell for the assessed value?" Well, I don't know what my house might or might not sell for at the present time, but what I do know is the Ketchikan Gateway Borough certainly does not have a great track record when it comes to making sound decisions. I, like many Ketchikan residents, are only trying to make an honest living, pay their taxes, and live a reasonably comfortable life. And as most of us know, the increased costs of energy are directly related to increased costs across the board for basic necessities. (i.e. heating, food, transportation.) The Ketchikan Borough Assembly members should understand the cost of living in Ketchikan is outweighing any minimal increases in wages that most are seeing.

So Mr. Davis, in reply, I will re-think my property ownership in Ketchikan as well. I would also like to take this moment to remind the Borough Assembly, as well as the Mayor, that I don't have to live here. I certainly don't have to spend any retirement money here, and I can at least look into a community that has basic services provided for the taxes imposed. I would recommend that property owners contact the Borough Manager's office at 228-6625, the Borough Mayor at 228-6605, and Borough assembly members' numbers at:

Please voice your displeasure. Resounding silence will only perpetuate the continual annual increases.


Wayne Phillips
Ketchikan, AK


Received February 12, 2008 - Published February 18, 2008


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