Remember, Assembly can lower mill rate

Posted: Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Kudos to Brita Shaw (June 1 Juneau Empire).

Sound off on the important issues at

I've looked into California and Oregon property taxes and they both have created more problems. One that has seemed to work is Juneau's vote in the 1990s that capped the tax at $12 million; how about a vote to cap the mill rate at $6 million?

With the way the city assessor is overassessing property, it will bring the tax rate back to what it was when the vote happened. KINY reported the old armory building was assessed at $3.7 million, but the city is buying it at $2.9 million; this proves the city assesses property over market values.

Ever wonder how many homes are overassessed? With Juneauites screaming about affordable housing, people might start looking into how the city doesn't help. Is the city really trying to create affordable housing or is it lining its pockets? People might want to audit how many city employees make more than $100,000 per year, then add their benefits. Got to pay for it somehow.

To reiterate what I wrote in my last letter, is buying the armory the best use of public funds? We voted in a sales tax for needed city services that were going to be lost - not more buildings.

Put buildings to a public vote. Ever checked out how many building projects have gone over budget? Check it out.

How about services? There are fully staffed firefighters in all the fire halls, and if you can't get firefighters, there might be a problem. How about regular police patrols to the end of all of the roads? If there's a paved road, the police shouldn't consider it remote. Services for recreational properties that pay taxes, such as Shelter Island and Taku River? Greens Creek pays taxes; what do they get?

Please remember that the Assembly can lower the mill rate. I really hope people remember this when election time comes.

Marty Holmberg


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