DEPARTMENT OF ASSESSING FAQ

WHAT EXEMPTION PROGRAMS ARE AVAILABLE?

WHAT IS REAL PROPERTY?

Real property means land and improvements, all possessory rights and privileges appurtenant to the property, and includes personal property affixed to the land or improvements (AS 29.71.800).

WHO DETERMINES THE PROPERTY VALUE?

The Assessor and his staff of ACAA certified appraisers. (Alaska Certified Assessor Appraiser)

WHAT IS AN APPRAISAL?

An appraisal is an estimate or opinion of value. It is the appraisers judgment as to the full market value as of a specific date (the dollar amount the property would sell for if there is a willing buyer and willing seller), and is based on the best data available to the appraiser at the time of the appraisal.

WHAT IS AN ASSESSMENT AND HOW DOES IT DIFFER FROM AN APPRAISAL?

The terms assessment and assessed value are often used to describe the same thing. The assessed value is based on the appraised value of the property. In Alaska, state law requires that property be assessed (valued for tax purposes) at 100% market value (AS 29.45.110). Therefore, the appraised value and the assessed value should equal the same amount. However, it should be pointed out that since the assessors office is appraising a very large number of properties, the assessment should be scrutinized carefully by the property owner to assure value estimates are reasonable.

ARE ALL INDIVIDUAL REAL PROPERTY ASSESSMENTS ACCESSIBLE?

Yes. Assessment records and certified assessment rolls are considered public records and are available to anyone wishing to view them.

WHAT IS AN ASSESSMENT NOTICE AND WHEN CAN YOU EXPECT TO RECEIVE ONE?

A real property assessment notice is a statement of value assessed to a particular land parcel. When you receive a Fairbanks North Star Borough Assessment Notice you will note that the upper portion of the notice states the current year valuation of land and improvements and contains a historical table showing the assessed values of the property for the last five years. The lower portion is a detachable residential exemption application that should be signed and returned to the Borough Assessor if you are not receiving a residential exemption and are qualified for one. Assessment notices are mailed in late January of each year.

WHAT IF YOU DIDNT RECEIVE AN ASSESSMENT NOTICE?

Call The Borough Assessing Department immediately.

WHAT IF YOU RECEIVE YOUR ASSESSMENT NOTICE AND THINK YOUR ASSESSED VALUE IS WRONG?

Call the Assessors office IMMEDIATELY. There may have been an error on your notice or the Assessor may not have been aware of a loss or an addition to your property. Changes or adjustments can be made, for a limited time only, if you have documentation to prove that a correction should be made in the value of your property.

WHAT IF YOU AND THE ASSESSOR CANNOT AGREE ON THE VALUATION?

Then you may appeal to the Board of Equalization. Appeal forms are available at the Borough Assessing Department.

WHAT IS THE BOARD OF EQUALIZATION?

The Board of Equalization is made up of five regular members, plus two alternates, appointed by the Mayor and confirmed by the Assembly. Appointments are based on the members expertise in land related issues. It is the duty of the Board to hear appeals, determine equalization and adjust assessments when applicable.

WHAT IS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY WHEN APPEALING TO THE BOARD OF EQUALIZATION?

If you choose to appeal you will bear the burden of proof, meaning it will be up to you to provide proof that the value set by the Assessor is erroneous. By law, the Board must support the Assessors valuation, unless otherwise proven by you. To appeal your valuation you will need to; 1) obtain an appeal form from the Borough Assessor, 2) complete the form and attach all documents to substantiate the claim, 3) return to the Assessor no later than 30 days from the mailing date of your assessment notice. Failure to do so will eliminate your right to appeal. An attorney or a field expert may represent you if you wish, but is not required.

WHAT IF YOU DO NOT AGREE WITH THE BOARD FINDINGS?

If you do not agree with the Board of Equalization decision you can appeal to the Superior Court. The Superior Court trial will be based on information presented to the Board of Equalization. Therefore, it is important to follow due process and, at the time of the Board of Equalization hearing, present all relevant evidence for consideration.

HOW IS THE VALUE OF THE TAX BASE FOUND?

The value of the tax base is found by adding up the assessed value of all taxable real property within the Borough boundaries.

HOW IS THE PROPERTY TAX DETERMINED?

Real property tax is determined by multiplying the assessed value of the property by the mill rate. In other words, taxes = assessed value x mill rate.

WHAT IS A MILL?

A mill is a monetary unit equal to 1/1000 (one thousandth) of a U.S. dollar, or 1/10 (one-tenth) of one cent.

WHAT IS A MILL RATE?

A mill rate is just the number of mills each individual property is to be assessed, or charged, per dollar value of the property. For example, if your mill rate were 20 mills, you would pay two cents for every dollar of assessed value or $20.00 for each $1,000 of assessed value.

WHO DECIDES WHAT THE MILL RATE WILL BE?

Your Borough Assembly decides what the mill rate will be.

HOW IS THE MILL RATE DECIDED?

1st, the assembly decides how much money (revenues) will be needed to run the Borough, by proposing a balanced budget. 2nd, the Assembly decides how much other revenues will be received from other sources like sales taxes, grants, user fees, interest and etc. 3rd, the Assembly does the math: step #1 minus step #2 equals property tax revenue needed. That revenue needed is raised by levying and collecting a property tax. So, to figure the mill rate, the additional amount of money needed for the budget will be divided by the total assessed value of the tax roll.

 

WHEN CAN YOU EXPECT TO RECEIVE A PROPERTY TAX BILL?

Real Property Tax Bills and Mortgage Notices are prepared and mailed by the Fairbanks North Star Borough Treasury and Budget Division on or before July 1st of each year.

WHEN ARE TAXES DUE?

You have an option of paying the taxes in full upon receipt of the tax bill on July 1st OR make timely payment as follows: 1st half tax payment is due on September 1st. 2nd half tax payment is due on November 1st.

WHAT ARE THE LATE FEES IF TAXES ARE NOT PAID ON TIME?

If your property taxes are delinquent you will be charged a 10% penalty and an annual simple interest rate of 8% on the taxes due. If a delinquency continues beyond the normal collection period, your tax account could incur additional fees such as advertising fees, legal fees and administrative costs.

WHAT IF YOU REFUSE TO PAY THE TAX LEVIED?

The Borough places a lien against your property for the amount of tax owed. The lien includes any interest, penalties and administrative costs charged because of lack of payment.

WHAT IS A LIEN?

A lien is a judgment against the property that can be collected by foreclosure and sale of the property.

HOW LONG IS THE REDEMPTION PERIOD?

Duration of the redemption period is one year. During that time the Borough holds title to the property. The taxpayer has redemptive rights during this period and can reclaim the property by paying the original tax, all penalties, interest and costs that the Borough has incurred due to nonpayment.

WHAT IF THE TAXPAYER HASNT REDEEMED THE PROPERTY BY THE END OF THE REDEMPTION PERIOD?

At the end of the redemption period the Borough will take legal action to secure a tax deed for all properties subject to foreclosure. The Borough may hold or use the property for public use. If the Borough retains the land, the taxpayer forfeits all rights of ownership.

WHO DO YOU ASK FOR MORE INFORMATION?

For additional Assessing information call 907-459-1428. For additional Tax information call 907-459-1441. Questions unable to be answered by local officials many be directed to the Department of Community & Economic Development, Office of the State Assessor at the following address: State Assessor DCED/DCBD 550 W 7th Ave Ste 1790 Anchorage AK 99501-3510 (907) 269-4605

INFORMATIONAL FACTS

The capital system of taxation, commonly called property tax, is the way by which local property owners cooperatively contribute to the cost of public services. Providing public schools, roads, fire protection, police protection, public parks, etc., enhances the overall desirability of an area for homes, business, and recreation. Public services cost money. For example, we all pay for public schools, roads, fire protection, police protection, parks, and other public services. All residents of a community share these. Property taxes are one method of collecting revenues to pay for services we all enjoy. Property tax is measured by property value and not by the financial circumstances of the owner. Simply stated, property tax is a liability of the property as compared to an income tax, which is a liability of a person.

ANNUAL ASSESSMENT/TAX CALENDAR

JANUARY Assessments values are as of January 1 each year. Assessment Notices are mailed (end of month).
FEBRUARY Thirty (30) day Appeal Period.
MARCH Partial Residential Exemptions. Deadline date March 31st. State Senior Citizen, Widow/Widower/Disabled Veterans. Deadline date March 31st. Volunteer EMS/Firefighters. Deadline date March 31st. Exemption application for property used exclusively for nonprofit religious, charitable, cemetery, hospital, or educational purposes Filing deadline March 31st.
APRIL Board of Equalization Assessment Appeal Hearings.
MAY Farm Use Exemption deadline May 14th.
JUNE Certify Tax Roll by June 1st.
JULY Tax Bills mailed by July 1st.
SEPTEMBER First half real property taxes due September 1st, Delinquent September 2nd.
NOVEMBER Second half real property taxes due November 1st, Delinquent November 2nd.
SEASONAL Appraisers are in the field re-evaluating approximately 20,000 parcels (land and/or improvements) and inspecting, inventorying and appraising all new construction.
CONTINUAL Update of property records including record owner(s), addresses, descriptions, maps, etc. on a daily basis.

How do I add or remove an owner from a parcel?

A document such as a Warranty Deed or a Quitclaim Deed would need to be recorded at the State of Alaska, Division of Natural Resources, District Recorder’s Office in order to change the records with our office. If you need assistance to complete a deed we are unable to give you legal advice. Please call a Title Company or an Attorney for more information.

I was recently married how do I change my name?

A document such as a Warranty Deed or a Quitclaim Deed would need to be recorded at the State of Alaska, Division of Natural Resources, District Recorder’s Office in order to change the records with our office. If you need assistance to complete a deed we are unable to give you legal advice. Please call a Title Company or an Attorney for more information.

I was recently divorced how do I change my name?

You could supply our office with a copy of the Certificate of Name Change singed by the Judge or Clerk of Courts or a document such as a Warranty Deed or a Quitclaim Deed could be recorded at the State of Alaska, Division of Natural Resources, District Recorder’s Office in order to change the records with our office. If you need assistance to complete a deed we are unable to give you legal advice. Please call a Title Company or an Attorney for more information.

My parent died how does it change ownership?

A document such as a Representative’s Deed is typically recorded to convey interest from the Estate of the deceased to another party. If you need assistance to complete a deed we are unable to give you legal advice. Please call a Title Company or an Attorney for more information.