Assessor FAQs

What does the Assessor Do?
The CBJ Assessor’s office primary responsibility is to determine the fair market value for your property. We estimate the market value for more than 13,000 real and business personal property accounts within the Borough. Basic responsibilities include; Locate all taxable property within the Borough and identify the ownership. Establish a value for all property subject to taxation. List the value of all taxable property on the assessment roll. Apply all legal exemptions.

What the Assessor Does Not Do.
The Assessor does not compute property tax bills. Collect property taxes. Establish property tax laws. Set rules by which property is appraised.

Why is Property Taxed?
Property taxes provide funds our local government needs to provide local services such as public schools, police and fire protection, libraries and other services.

How is the Market Value Estimated?
The Assessor does not create the fair market value. This value is established through the buying and selling of real estate in the market place. The Assessor has the legal responsibility to study those transactions and assess your property accordingly.

What Else Does the Assessor Do?

  • Track ownership changes.
  • Maintains property changes to parcel boundaries by permits and planning changes.
  • Keeps descriptions of buildings and property characteristics.
  • Accepts and approves applications from individuals and businesses for exemptions and other forms of tax relief.
  • Analyzes trends in property sale prices, construction costs and rents to arrive at the fair market value.

What are the Property Owner’s Responsibilities?
It is up to each individual property owner to monitor their own assessments. A taxpayer who feels he/she is not being fairly assessed should meet with the Assessor before the tentative assessment roll is established. An appointment can be scheduled to review the property owner’s concerns and answer any questions.

Can I Get an Exemption?
Several types of exemptions are available for qualifying property owners.

  • Senior citizens
  • Disabled veterans
  • Non-Profit organizations

How Can We Help You?
Our staff includes 5 real property appraisers, 1 business property appraiser and 1 administrative assistant to provide assistance. We are open 8am to 430pm Mon – Fri, except holidays. 155 S. Seward St. Juneau AK, Rm 114. Telephone 907.586.5215. Email: Assessor_office@ci.juneau.ak.us

Important Dates to Remember

  • January 1st – Day of Assessment for the New Year
  • March 31st – Estimated time for mail out of Assessment notices
  • May 1st – Estimated end of 30 day period to appeal notice of value
  • July 1st – Property tax bill mail out
  • Sept 30th– Property taxes due
  • Oct 1st – Property taxes delinquent

Who do I talk to if I have questions about my property?
The CBJ Assessor’s Office is available year-round to answer your questions about both real and personal property. We are a primary source of information regarding ownership, valuation and a description of the property. We maintain a description of approximately 13,000 parcels of real property and 3,200 accounts of personal property.

What is “Real Property”?
Real Property (real estate) is land and improvements to land, such as; buildings, structures, and fixtures of any kind thereon.

What is “Personal Property”?
Personal Property is any property other than real property. And: Business personal property which is composed of tangible assets, other than real property, held for use in a business. Taxable business personal property includes, but is not limited to; inventory, supplies, furniture, fixtures, equipment, leasehold improvements, and rental furnishings.

What is “Assessed Value”?
Assessed Value is the value subject to taxation. It is the appraised, or market value, of the property less any exemptions. Appraised Value is the estimated price that a typical buyer would pay for a property if sold on the open market as of January 1 of the assessment year. This means that your property should be appraised at 100% of market value.

It is important to recognize that buyer/seller interaction is not precise. What you would pay is not necessarily what I would pay for the same property. Market value falls within a range and the appraised value is an estimate of what a typical buyer would pay, not necessarily the exact price paid.

How is property value estimated?
There are three approaches to estimating market value; sales, cost and income approaches. In estimating real property values for all types of properties the assessor keeps track of:

  • what properties are selling for;
  • what it would cost today to replace them;
  • the costs to operate and repair them;
  • what rents they may earn; and
  • Many other factors affecting value.

Utilizing this data, current market value may be estimated in three different ways. The assessor may use one or more of these approaches to estimate what your property will sell for on the open market. The approach employed depends on the type of property and quality and quantity of data available for analysis.

The sales approach compares your property to others that have sold. Sales prices must be carefully analyzed to get a true picture. One property may have sold high because the seller included substantial personal property or special financing. Another may have sold low because the seller was in a hurry or needed cash right away. By comparing numerous selling prices of properties similar to yours, adjusting for differences between the sold property and your property (e.g., two versus three bathrooms), the market value for your property is estimated.

A second way to estimate market value is based on how much it would cost to construct a new replacement building, adjust for age and condition; and, finally, adding the land value.

The third way is to evaluate how much income the property (apartment, store, factory, etc.) would produce if it were rented. The operating expenses, insurance, maintenance, and return on investment must be considered.

Why do assessed values change from year to year?
If you were to add a garage to your home the market value would increase, however, physical changes are not the only reason for value changes. Changes in supply and demand of properties, employment patterns, interest rates and zoning and other market factors all may affect value.

Another factor that may affect assessed value is the abundance or lack of information available to the assessor to base the estimate on in a given year. The property may have been valued below 100% of market value last year. If newly discovered information indicates that the previous value was inaccurate the new value will be different. The basic question to ask concerning your value is; “Could I sell the property at this price?”

When will I receive my assessment notice?
Assessment notices for Real Property are currently mailed near the end of March of the first week in April. They are on a white postcard sized form that includes the:

  • parcel identification number,
  • legal description, and
  • Valuation amount.

Assessment notices have important information regarding your rights to appeal and the schedule for tax payments.

How do I know what my property is worth?
Most people get a feel for the market in their area from talking to friends, neighbors and real estate professionals. Additionally, newspaper ads and articles, listings, and recent sales provide useful information about market conditions.

Sales of residential one to four family properties are also available at the Assessor’s Office and Municipal appraisers are available to answer questions year round. You may also look at the Property Appraisal website to find information on properties such as assessed values and property descriptions.

If my property value has increased will my property taxes go up?
An increase in your property value does not automatically mean that your property tax will change by the same percentage.

How are taxes determined?
The Assessor’s Office estimates property value and does not set tax rates or collect taxes. Assessed values determine the distribution of property tax among taxpayers. The budget determines taxes and is established by the financial needs and budgets approved by Municipal government, the Juneau School District and voter approved debt (bonds).

The tax rate is expressed in mills, that is, one-thousandth of one dollar. The budget (less anticipated revenues from sources other than the property tax) is divided by the “total assessed value” in Juneau to determine the mill rate.

  • Approved Budget – Other Revenue / Total Tax Base = Mill Rate

Mill rates are set in June of each year by the Municipal Assembly. Property taxes are determined by multiplying your property’s assessed value by the mill rate.

  • Taxes = (mill rate / 1000) x Value

Where do I get information about my taxes?
You can find information about your taxes by contacting the City Treasury Division. The Treasury Division is responsible for billing, collecting and auditing municipal tax revenues. Questions concerning payment of taxes, minimum payments due, or tax refunds should be directed to the Treasury Division. The Treasury phone number is (907) 586-5215.

Tax revenues provide primary funding for city services such as: public safety, education, roads and transportation, health and human services, and cultural and recreational services.

May I appeal my property taxes?
No, appeals may only be made against the value of the property. The percent or amount of change from last year, amount of tax, mill rate, and other matters unrelated to current value cannot be considered.

I think my value may be incorrect, should I contact the Assessor’s office?
Yes, you should contact the Assessor division to review your valuation any time you have questions regarding your property value. During the first 30 days after assessment notices are mailed we are able to review and adjust values. Property owners can often settle disagreements at this level without the need of filing a formal appeal to the Board of Equalization.

It is always wise to review your property information:

  • at the Assessor’s Office,
  • on the Property Appraisal website, or
  • By phone to make sure it’s accurate.

If you have questions about your valuation notice it is best to contact us as soon as possible as we are typically very busy during the first few weeks after notices are mailed. You will find a contact phone number to call on the face of your assessment notice.

See our (link to Appealing your Assessment) for questions relating to who can appeal, deadlines for filing and the appeal process.

Are there tax exemptions available?
Yes, there are several types of property tax exemptions available. For more information see our (link to Exemptions) page.

How do I change the mailing address on my accounts?
Address changes are processed by the CBJ Assessor Office in City Hall, 155 S. Seward, Room 114. You may also call (907) 586-5215 or fax a request to (907) 586-4520.

Who must file a Business Property Assessment Return?
All businesses operating within the City and Borough of Juneau on January 1st of the tax year with assets must file a Business Property Assessment Return.

What is the deadline for the Business Property Assessment Return?
To be deemed timely, your return must be postmarked by January 31 of the tax year. Late returns are subject to a penalty of $10.00 per day to a maximum of 20 percent of taxes due.

How does the Assessor determine the assessed value for business personal property?
For most property, the Assessor uses the cost reported by the current owner and applies a percent good factor based upon the year the property was acquired in order to estimate market value. The percent good factors are available on our valuation tables.

What if I don’t agree with the assessed values?
You will receive a Notice of Assessed Value late March to early April. You have 30 days from the date the notice is mailed to appeal your assessed value. You may be able to settle disagreements without the need or expense of filing a formal appeal by contacting us at (907) 586-5215. (Link to Business Personal Property Appeal form).

What if my business sold or closed prior to January 1st?
You still need to file a business property return to inform us of the sale or closure. This can be done easily and quickly using (link to BPP Account Closure Form).

Does the Assessor prorate taxes between a buyer and a seller if the business is sold during the tax year?
No, the City and Borough of Juneau holds the owner as of January 1st of the tax year responsible for the business property taxes. Any arrangement regarding property tax liability must be worked out between the buyer and seller.

How do I appeal the assessed value of my property?
To file an appeal of the Assessor’s valuation of your property you must complete a written appeal form specifying the grounds for the appeal. CBJ does not currently charge a filing fee so there is no charge to file. The form must be filed within 30 days from the date the assessment notice was mailed. You must also provide evidence supporting your appeal.

In order to protect your right to due process, we require you fill out a petition for review form prior to discussing your concerns with the assessor staff. This helps us to maintain tracking of all inquiries and eliminates the possibility of having your questions answered prior to the deadline for filing. Information available may include your property description, sales of property similar to yours and values of property in your neighborhood.

Who may appeal the assessed value?
A person whose name appears on the assessment roll as the owner of record or the agent or assigns of that person may appeal to the Board of Equalization for relief from an alleged error in valuation not adjusted by the Assessor to the taxpayer’s satisfaction.

What is the Board of Equalization?
The Board of Equalization (BOE) is comprised of private citizens who have been appointed by the Juneau Assembly to hear valuation appeals brought forward by property owners. The BOE is not associated with the Municipal Assessors Office.

May I appeal my property taxes?
No, appeals may only be made against the value of the property. The percent or amount of change from last year, amount of tax, mill rate, and other matters unrelated to current value cannot be considered.

What is the deadline for filing an appeal?
Appeals must be filed within 30 days from the date the assessment notice (white card) was mailed. Real Property assessment notices are mailed in mid-March to mid-April each year. Appeals must be received by the CBJ Assessor’s office, or postmarked, by the “Appeal must be filed by” date shown on the face of the assessment notice.

Where can I get an Appeal Form?
Appeal Forms may be obtained by contacting the CBJ Assessor’s Office or on our website click here to access appeal forms.

What information must I provide with my appeal?
When submitting an appeal, provide the following:

  • Parcel number of the property you are appealing;
  • Specific reasons why you believe the Assessor’s valuation does not reflect the value of the property (the amount of tax, percent of increase, personal hardship, and other matters unrelated to the value, are not sufficient grounds for appeal.);
  • Comparable sales or other supporting evidence (see the list below); and
  • Your signature (and agency authorization, if someone else will represent you).
  • Complete both sides of the appeal form.

By law, “THE APPELLANT BEARS THE BURDEN OF PROOF. The only grounds for adjustment of assessment are proof of unequal, excessive, improper, or under valuation based on facts that are stated in a valid written appeal or proven at the appeal hearing. If a valuation is found to be too low, the Board of Equalization may raise the assessment.” AS 29.45.210.(b)

You must present clear and convincing evidence to support your appeal. All evidence must be provided within 45 days from the date the assessment notice was mailed (30 days to file an appeal plus 15 days to provide all supporting evidence) . The Assessor may agree to extend the time limit to provide evidence under certain circumstances. Contact the assessor’s office regarding any extension request. Appeals without supporting information may be dismissed by the Board.

Why is there a deadline for submitting evidence?
The Assessor is required to be substantially finished with all Real Property appeals by June 1. Evidence supporting the appeal must be submitted in a timely manner In order to timely review each case, make appropriate adjustments to value or have the appeal heard by the Board of Equalization.

What kinds of evidence should I provide for my appeal?
The assessed value is the assessor’s estimate of the price the typical buyer would pay for your property as of January 1 of the assessment year. Buyers and sellers create market value through their activity in the marketplace.

  • In a residential appeal the best evidence of market value is sale price, the sale price of the subject property and of similar properties.
  • Commercial properties may require rent rolls, leases and income and expense information.

You may obtain comparable sales information from local realtors, appraisers or at the Assessor’s Office. If possible, select sales of properties that have sold recently, are most similar to your property, and are in your neighborhood or area. For each comparable you use, be sure to include the parcel number and address, as well as date of sale and sale price. Also consider comparable characteristics of the property.

Typical characteristics to consider include:

  • Land Characteristics
    • Location (nearby sales are best)
    • Units of comparison (square footage, acreage, front feet)
    • Zoning
    • Desirable features (view, waterfront, good access etc.)
    • Undesirable features (poor access or soils, steep topography etc.)
    • Wetlands
    • Utilities
  • Building Characteristics
    • Type of construction (wood, brick, etc.)
    • Square footage (finished vs. unfinished)
    • Building condition, quality and age
    • Number of bedrooms and bathrooms.
    • Amenities (garage, fireplace, workshop)
    • Type of property (single family, duplex, warehouse, etc.)
  • Other Supporting Evidence
    • Property inspection by an CBJ appraiser
    • Appraisals prepared by others
    • Listing information and price
    • Closing statements for your purchase
    • Documentation by others concerning problems (engineers, inspectors, etc.)
    • Contractors itemized estimates for repairs
    • Income and expense information, if subject is an income property

NOTE: Documents you wish to be considered as evidence should be filed with the assessor within 45 days of the date assessment notices (white cards) were mailed, unless the Assessor agrees to an extension.

What happens after I file my appeal?
Your appeal will be assigned to an appraiser for review. You will be notified of who has been assigned your appeal and how to contact them. You must provide the appraiser with your evidence within 45 days of the date notices (white cards) were mailed. The appraiser may require further information and/or an inspection of your property. If the appraiser finds reason to revise the value you will receive an ‘Appeal Withdrawal Form’ noting the new value. If you do not agree with the outcome of the review (by signing and returning the Appeal Withdrawal Form) your appeal will be sent to the Board of Equalization for hearing. If the appeal is sent to the Board, the appraiser will provide you and the Board with an appeal packet including a copy or your appeal and a summary of the assessor’s position.

When will I have a hearing?
The Assessor office Division will notify you of the location, date, and time of your hearing; approximately two weeks in advance of the hearing date. If you fail to appear, the hearing may proceed in your absence unless the BOE grants a new hearing date.

What can I expect at the hearing?
The hearing is an informal review designed to allow property owners to present their case, however counsel may represent you if you desire. All testimony before the Board of Equalization (BOE) shall be under oath. You and the Assessor’s representative will have the opportunity to give oral testimony and present documentary evidence (See NOTE: below) as to the value of the appealed property. The BOE will then close the hearing and make a decision on the value.

The BOE may lower, raise or uphold the value. A decision by the Board regarding your appeal is only applicable for the tax year in which an appeal is filed. The Assessor is not bound by the Board’s decision in a subsequent assessment period. It is therefore important for you to review your assessment notice each year. If you disagree with your assessment you should contact the Assessor’s Office or file an appeal for that year.

NOTE: Documents you wish to be considered as evidence should be filed with the assessor within 45 days of the date assessment notices (white cards) were mailed, unless the Assessor agrees to an extension.

What if I am not satisfied with the Board of Equalization decision?
The appellant or the Assessor may appeal a final determination of the Board of Equalization to the Superior Court within 30 days of the Boards decision.

Should I wait until after my appeal hearing to pay my taxes?
No, pay your taxes when they are due. Taxes must be paid on or before the due date even if an appeal is pending. Taxes paid after the due date is delinquent and 10% penalty, plus interest and costs are added to the delinquent tax.

When a Board of Equalization appeal is finalized, and if there is a decrease to the assessed value, a refund will be issued for the excess taxes paid, plus interest. Refunds usually take several weeks to process.

If your appeal is resolved and you owe additional tax, the balance, including interest shall be paid within ten days of notice of resolution of the appeal. Failure to make a timely payment for any balance due will result in application of both penalty and interest on the balance.