Assembly wants to give earthquake-damaged property owners room to file late appeals

ANCHORAGE (KTUU) - If you have property damage to your home and think your tax assessment may be wrong as a result, the Anchorage Assembly wants to give you some breathing room to appeal.

The deadline to file assessment appeals ends on Thursday. The assembly says people should really try to meet that deadline, but they are willing to work with those who can't.

The late appeal deadline for 2019 real property assessments happens to fall on Valentine’s Day, and Assembly Chair Eric Croft says people should be thinking about filing their appeals instead of buying heart-shaped chocolates.

“There’s a lot of people with earthquake damage, and if your property was worth ‘x’ and now it’s worth ‘x minus $20,000’ because it’s got a cracked foundation or other damage, you have until Valentine’s Day to file that card,” Croft said.

But for those who can show "compelling reasons" for why they failed to get a second assessment before the appeal period expires, the Assembly wants to give you a second chance.

The ordinance hitting the floor for public testimony Tuesday night would request that the municipal assessor investigate and consider issuing corrected assessments for property owners filing for state or federal disaster relief.

Croft says he co-sponsored this ordinance along with Assemblyman Christopher Constant because the Nov. 30 earthquake was enough of a disaster that late filers should be able to submit appeals to their 2019 real property assessments.

"But as I said, the best is if you can do it in this open (period) — the next one, you have to show a good reason why you filed late, and we're saying the earthquake is a good enough reason for us,” Croft said. “But the cleanest thing is to just have a timely appeal if you think you fit that."

Also on the floor for public testimony Tuesday night are a proposed ban on flame retardant chemicals shown to have adverse effects on human health, as well as a motion to create a nuisance property abatement fund for use across the municipality.