SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska


Vote No On Proposition I
By Zig Ziegler


September 26, 2007
Wednesday AM

Editor, SitNews:

I had an interesting phone call today. I am involved in the sale of a local downtown building and was contacted by the buyer's lender; a large, national lender. That lender is participating with the Small Business Administration in the funding of this loan. This is one of the larger real estate transactions that has occurred in Ketchikan, which means that all the details have been scrutinized over and over. It is now within days of closing.

The purchaser is buying the building to use it for tourist retail, none of it jewelry related. In addition to buying the building, the buyer will be spending close to $500,000 in renovating the property, using local labor and supplies. The new business that will be utilizing the property will be a "one of a kind" in Southeast.

My phone call was from one of the lending agents. He stated to me that as a result of the pending jewelry store initiative red flags had been raised about this transaction. Specifically, Ketchikan's property values would be negatively impacted lessening the value of the collateral for this loan and therefore it might not close.

How ironic. The initiative supporters have suggested that new enterprises would spring up and Ketchikan would return to some former glory once it passed. Yet, here is a deal that would create that new business, spend hundreds of thousands of dollars locally to make it happen and it might not because property is not going to be worth lending against. Makes you wonder, right? If property values don't hold up to lenders' guidelines, less property taxes will be collected, those new businesses that the initiative promoters are expecting won't happen and Ketchikan will have year 'round space available in abundance.

And who will foot the bill for the decrease in property values, especially if we want the same services and amenities that we currently enjoy? Existing property owners. With all the space available less sales tax will be collected, increasing the demand for us "locals" to pay up for our lifestyle. Remember, sales and property taxes go towards schools, arts, seniors, recreation, streets, etc. Without those dollars things get cut or costs go up.

Your choice: Vote NO on this initiative. It does the opposite of what the supporters are saying it will do. Call me with any questions. 247-4663.

Zig Ziegler
Ketchikan, AK

About: "Real Estate Broker, Local Resident 66 Years"

Received September 25, 2007 - Published September 26, 2007


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