Property Assessments In Alaska

Revised July 1, 2013

Introduction

Article XI, Section 3 of the Alaska Constitution provides that standards used for appraisal be prescribed by law. The Alaska Supreme Court has opined that the legislature has defined these standards and they are found in Title 29, Section 45.110 of the Alaska Statutes and in a municipality's local ordinances.

Property in Alaska is required to be assessed (valued for tax purposes) at fair market value. An assessment should be the same amount as what the owner believes the property would sell for in the open real estate market. (AS 29.45.110) There are some variations on what "full and true value" is, in limited cases. These are found in AS 29.45.060 through .065, AS 29.45.110, and AS 29.45.230 and cover certain uses that restrict or limit the ability to recover full and true value upon sale, such as farm use, conservation easement, or property affected by a natural disaster.

The assessor uses mass appraisal techniques to appraise property. Mass appraisal techniques are similar to those used by a private appraiser, however, the scope of the assignment (number of properties to appraise) and the quality control (statistical analysis) differ. The assessor may use a single method or a variety of methods to value property. Smaller municipalities with little market activity will most likely use a variation of the cost approach, while larger municipalities with more market activity will use a combination of the market, income, and cost approaches.

Narrative

The assessor's office is not bound by any one approach to value, but may use all approaches at his or her disposal. The primary function of the assessment process is to assure everyone is taxed equally; that is, that no one pays more or less than his fair share of tax. The courts do not typically question the methods used by the assessor to obtain market value estimates, unless there is a finding of fraud or clear adoption of a fundamentally wrong principle of valuation (Hoblit v. Greater Anchorage Area Borough, 473 P2. 630, Alaska 1970.)

Property values may be appealed to the local Board of Equalization, which is made up of either members of the governing body or individuals appointed by the governing body. The burden of proof for the appeal rests with the appellant, and the Board of Equalization will make its decision based on the information in a valid written appeal or proven at the hearing (AS 29.45.210). That decision may be appealed to Superior Court and then to the State Supreme Court. Appeals are heard on the record established at the Board of Equalization hearing. Many of our assessment policies today come from Supreme Court interpretations of the law.

Back to Top

Frequently Asked Questions

State of Alaska Constitution

  • Article IX, Section 1 - taxing power, prohibitions
  • Article IX Section 2 - non-discrimination in tax rate
  • Article IX Section 3 - assessment standards, prescribed by law
  • Article IX Section 4 - exemptions, authority to prescribe additional exemptions by law
  • Article IX Section 5 - government property, taxability of private use of otherwise exempt property
  • Article X, Section 2 - dedication of taxing powers to boroughs and cities only Article IX Section 5 - government property, taxability of private use of otherwise exempt property
  • Article IX Section 6 - public purpose use of tax revenue
  • Article X, Section 1 - provision for maximum local self government and non-duplication of taxing jurisdictions
  • Article X, Section 2 - dedication of taxing powers to boroughs and cities only

Back to Top

Applicable Laws

Alaska Statutes
  • AS 14.17.510 (see Current Alaska Statutes) - Assistance to school districts and municipalities in determining full and true value
  • AS 29.10.200 - Limitation on home rule powers, taxation, assessment, collections, exemptions
  • AS 29.25.010 - Acts required to be by ordinance, levy taxes, establish penalty
  • AS 29.35.010 - General powers and duties of municipality, authorization to levy tax, enforce ordinances
  • AS 29.35.170 - Assessment and collection of tax, borough collection of city tax
  • AS 29.45.010 - Authority to levy a property tax, areawide, nonareawide, service area, home rule, first class second class
  • AS 29.45.030 - Taxable property and mandatory exemptions, application for exemption, ordinance establishing procedures and deadlines, waiver for late application, state reimbursement for exemptions, definitions
  • AS 29.45.040 - Property tax equivalency payments, application process
  • AS 29.45.046 - River habitat protection credit, eligibility, calculation method, exemptions
  • AS 29.45.050 - Optional exemptions, ordinance ratification, mandatory cap on exemptions, home-rule provisions
  • AS 29.45.055 - Levy of flat tax on personal property exempted from ad valorem tax
  • AS 29.45.060 - Farm or agricultural land
  • AS 29.45.062 - Land subject to a conversation easement
  • AS 29.45.065 - Assessment of private airports open for public use.
  • AS 29.45.070-.070 - Mobile homes, classification
  • AS 29.45.080 - Tax on oil and gas production and pipeline property, DOR valuation
  • AS 29.45.090 - Tax Limitation and mill rate equity
  • AS 29.45.100 - No limitation to pay for bonds
  • AS 29.45.103 - Taxation records, availability
  • AS 29.45.105 - Errors in taxation procedures, state assessor notice, appeal
  • AS 29.45.110 - Full and true value, assessment date, low income housing credit valuation and exemption
  • AS 29.45.120 - Returns
  • AS 29.45.130 - Independent investigations
  • AS 29.45.140 - Violations; authorization to prescribe penalties by ordinance
  • AS 29.45.150 - Reevaluation
  • AS 29.45.160 - Assessment roll
  • AS 29.45.170 - Assessment notice, delivery
  • AS 29.45.180 - Corrections, errors or omissions
  • AS 29.45.190 - Appeal
  • AS 29.45.200 - Board of Equalization
  • AS 29.45.210 - Hearing
  • AS 29.45.220 - Supplementary assessment rolls
  • AS 29.45.230 - Tax adjustments on property affected by a natural disaster, sworn statement, notice, equalization hearing, deadline for determining rate and mailing statements
  • AS 29.45.240 - Establishment of levy and determination of rate, ordinance and resolution requirement
  • AS 29.45.250 - Rates of penalty and interest, limitation on rate, interest accrual
  • AS 29.45.550 - Cities outside boroughs
  • AS 29.45.560 - Cities inside boroughs
  • AS 29.45.580 - Differential tax zones
  • AS 29.45.590 - Limited property taxing power for second class cities
  • AS 29.45.600 - Combining property tax with incorporation of a second class city
  • AS 29.60.010 - State revenue sharing tax equalization formula
  • AS 29.60.080 - Definitions
  • AS 44.33.020(17) (see Current Alaska Statutes) - Commerce assistance on valuation, assessment, and taxation; notification of errors
  • AS 43.56.010 - Levy of municipal tax on oil and gas exploration, production, and pipeline property, limitation on tax assessment rate
  • AS 43.56.020 - Exemptions on levy of municipal tax on oil and gas exploration, production, and pipeline property
  • AS 43.56.030 - Tax in lieu of
  • AS 43.56.040 - State assessment review board
  • AS 43.56.060 - Commerce assessment of oil and gas and pipeline property subject to taxation
  • AS 43.82.210 - Payment in lieu of taxes on stranded gas development projects
Regulations
  • 3 AAC 131.010-.020 certification and notification of population for oil & gas property tax limitations, alternate population determination methods
  • 3 AAC 131.030 - definitions
  • 3 AAC 135.010 - .085 senior citizen and disabled veteran exemptions, method of application and forms, deadlines and calculations, eligibility of spouse
  • 3 AAC 135.095 - effect of exemption on other legal encumbrances
  • 3 AAC 135.110 - appeal
  • 3 AAC 135.120 - definitions
  • 3 AAC 136.010 - .045 senior citizen and disabled veteran property tax equivalency payment forms, rent verification, eligibility, eligible costs, age verification, veteran's disability verification, computation of payment
  • 3 AAC 136.060 - definitions
  • 3 AAC 138.010 - 020 - farm and agricultural land assessment and deferment application forms, income verification
  • 3 AAC 138.030 - appeal
  • 3 AAC 138.040 - 050 - municipal maintenance of agricultural land records, confidentiality
  • 3 AAC 138.060 - definitions
  • 3 AAC 139.010 - state assessor review of written complaint, review of municipal records
  • 3 AAC 139.020 - state assessor notification of error
  • 3 AAC 139.030 - appeal of state assessor's determination
  • 3 AAC 139.900 - definitions
  • 15 AAC 56.005-.010 - oil and gas exploration production and pipeline property tax, filing property statement with state, notice of assessment, municipal notification
  • 15 AAC 56.015-.045 - standing to appeal, appeal to state, appeal to assessment review board, assessment review board hearing, supplementary assessments
  • 15 AAC 56.050-.065 - credit and refund of oil & gas property tax, payment due date,
  • 15 AAC 56.070 - average per capita full and true value determination and notification
  • 15 AAC 56.075-.110 - taxable oil & gas property, exploration, production, pipeline property
  • 15 AAC 56.120 - intangible drilling expenses
  • 15 AAC 56.130 - preservation of municipal powers