CHAPTER 3.15: ASSESSMENT AND TAXATION

Section

3.15.010    Definitions

3.15.020    Taxing authority; assessor

3.15.030    Required exemptions

3.15.033    Senior citizen/disabled veteran hardship tax exemption

3.15.035    Optional exemptions

3.15.037    Residential real property exemption

3.15.040    Property subject to taxation

3.15.050    Property tax assessments

3.15.060    Methods of assessment

3.15.070    Assessment procedure

3.15.075    Tax adjustments on property affected by fire

3.15.080    Personal property subject to taxation

3.15.090    Tax situs of personal property

3.15.100    Filing personal property tax returns

3.15.110    Independent investigation

3.15.120    Responsibility of corporate officers and directors; corporate filings

3.15.130    Late filing

3.15.140    Involuntary filing

3.15.150    Failure to file

3.15.160    Disclosure of ownership

3.15.170    Mobile homes

3.15.180    Inspection of returns; confidentiality

3.15.190    Assessment notice

3.15.200    Board of equalization; appeal

3.15.210    Board of equalization [Repealed]

3.15.215    Board of equalization; membership; duties; terms of office

3.15.220    Board of equalization; hearing [Repealed]

3.15.225    Board of equalization; hearing

3.15.230    Enforcement of tax obligations

3.15.240    Rates of penalty and interest and collection of administrative costs

3.15.250    Foreclosure list

3.15.260    Refund of taxes

3.15.270    Penalty for violation

3.15.280    Incorporation

3.15.010 DEFINITIONS.

(A)    For the purpose of this chapter, the following definitions shall apply unless the context clearly indicates or requires a different meaning.

(1)    “Assessor” means the borough assessor.

(2)    “Clerk” means the clerk of the board of equalization.

(3)    “Board of equalization” means the quasi-judicial administrative entity appointed by the assembly to hear appeals from a property value determination of the assessor.

(4)    “Full and true value” means the estimated price which the property would bring in an open market and under the prevailing market conditions in a sale between a willing seller and a willing buyer both conversant with the property and with prevailing general price levels.

(5)    “Personal property” means any tangible property other than real property, including but not limited to merchandise, stock in trade, machinery, equipment, furniture, fixtures, vehicles, boats and aircraft.

(6)    “Real property” means land and improvements, all possessory rights and privileges appurtenant to the property, and includes fixtures affixed to the land or improvements.

(7)    “Tax year” means January 1 through December 31.

(8)    “Fixtures” means personal property that is attached to the land or improvement with the intent to make the personal property a permanent addition to the real property and where its removal would result in a loss of value to the real or personal property.

(Ord. 09-165, § 2, 2009; Ord. 94-001AM, § 4 (part), 1994; Ord. 91-008AM, § 3 (part), 1991)

3.15.020 TAXING AUTHORITY; ASSESSOR.

The borough may assess, levy and collect ad valorem property taxes.

(Ord. 91-008AM, § 3 (part), 1991)

3.15.030 REQUIRED EXEMPTIONS.

(A)    The property listed in A.S. 29.45.030 is exempt from general taxation.

(B)    An application for an exemption from taxation of property shall be filed with the assessor in accordance with A.S. 29.45.030(f).

(1)    To be eligible for the senior citizen or disabled veteran real property tax exemption, the individual must also meet one of the following requirements:

(a)    the individual shall be eligible for a permanent fund dividend under A.S. 43.23.005 for that same year or for the immediately preceding year; or

(b)    if the individual has not applied or does not apply for one or both of the permanent fund dividends, the individual would have been eligible for one of the permanent fund dividends identified in subsection (B)(1)(a) of this section had the individual applied.

(C)    An application for exemption shall be filed no later than April 30th of the assessment year for which the exemption is requested. The assessor may accept an exemption application after April 30th of the assessment year for which the exemption is requested only upon a showing of good cause. The borough assembly, for good cause shown, may waive a senior citizen applicant’s failure to make timely application for exemption and authorize the assessor to accept the application as if timely filed. However, good cause shall not be construed to allow the assessor to accept an application beyond two years from the original April 30th deadline for a given year. The assessor shall accept disabled veteran applications for previous tax years only where the disabled veteran has made timely application for each year that the exemption is sought and has received a qualifying retroactive disability evaluation from the Veteran’s Administration or applicable branch of service. The borough assembly, for good cause shown, may waive a disabled veteran applicant’s failure to make timely application for exemption for prior tax years and authorize the assessor to accept the application as if timely filed. However, good cause shall not be construed to allow the assessor to accept an application beyond two years from the original April 30th deadline for a given year. Senior citizen applicants qualifying for exempt status under this provision, and qualifying disabled veterans, who are permanently disabled, shall not be required to reapply annually, but shall remain in exempt status until such time as changes in the ownership, occupancy, property use, status of disability or other factor affecting the exemption causes the property to either spatially qualify or no longer qualify for exempt status. Disabled veterans, who have not received a permanent disability rating, will be required to file annually. Property owners shall notify the borough when the requirements for exemption are no longer met. If the assessor determines that a property is not eligible for exemption, all taxes, penalty and interest due on the property from the tax lien date following the date the property should have been subject to taxation are immediately due and owing. The borough assessor may require proof under this section at any time.

(D)    Laws exempting certain property from execution under the Code of Civil Procedure (A.S. 09) do not exempt the property from taxes levied and collected by municipalities.

(E)    A person may appeal the assessor’s denial of an application for the exemption of property from taxation. The appeal shall be filed with the assessor, in writing, setting forth with specificity the explanation in support of the reason for the appeal, within 15 days of the assessor’s determination to deny the exemption application. The assessor’s decision on the appeal may be filed as an administrative appeal to the superior court, which appeal shall be on the record in which the assessor based the decision.

(F)    Tax bills shall be mailed with a copy of this code provision.

(Ord. 11-122, § 2, 2011: Ord. 05-051, § 2, 2005; Ord. 02-043, § 2, 2002; Ord. 94-001AM, § 4 (part), 1994; Ord. 91-008AM, § 3 (part), 1991)

3.15.033 SENIOR CITIZEN/DISABLED VETERAN HARDSHIP TAX EXEMPTION.

(A)    Intent. It is the intent of the Matanuska-Susitna Borough Assembly to provide optional tax relief to those senior citizens/disabled veterans who qualify for a hardship tax exemption, recognizing that such relief should only be provided to those in need and should only be granted in a manner which is equitable for all citizens of the Matanuska-Susitna Borough. If granted, a hardship tax exemption can reduce a senior citizen/disabled veteran’s real property taxes to two percent of their gross household income.

(B)    Criteria. The following criteria are adopted in making determinations for hardship exemptions:

(1)    The applicant must meet the standards set forth in 3 AAC 135.040(b) and (c).

(2)    The hardship tax exemption is limited to the applicant’s place of residence.

(3)    The applicant’s gross family income, from all sources in the prior year, must not exceed 135 percent of the poverty guideline as established by the United States Department of Health and Human Services for a similar sized household in the state of Alaska for the year requested.

(4)    The applicant must either:

(a)    be eligible for a permanent fund dividend under A.S. 43.23.005 for the same year or for the immediately preceding year; or

(b)    if the applicant has not applied or does not apply for one or both of the permanent fund dividends, the applicant must show that they would have been eligible for one of the permanent fund dividends identified in subsection (B)(4)(a) of this section had the applicant applied.

(5)    The applicant must not own more than one parcel on the date of application, excluding an adjacent parcel that is necessary for the use of the primary residence.

(6)    The net worth of the applicant on the date of application may not exceed $250,000 including the first $150,000 of the market value of the principal residence of the applicant for which the hardship tax exemption is requested.

(7)    The hardship tax exemption will be apportioned in the same manner and formula as applied to the standard senior citizen/disabled veteran exemption previously granted.

(8)    The borough assessor may require additional proof under this section at any time. If the applicant fails to respond to a request for additional proof, such failure may be considered by the assessor in determining whether to grant the exemption.

(C)    Procedure.

(1)    An application for hardship exemption shall be filed no later than April 20 of the assessment year for which the hardship exemption is requested.

(2)    The applicant must submit an application required by 3 AAC 135.040, and supply additional information on a form supplied by the borough, to the borough assessor.

(3)    The applicant must also submit an affidavit, supplied by the borough, attesting that the applicant meets the subscribed criteria, to the borough assessor.

(4)    Upon submittal of an application, additional information and affidavit, the borough assessor shall determine whether proof, as per subsection (B)(8) of this section, is required and inform the applicant within 15 borough business days of any such proof required.

(5)    Upon receipt of the completed application, additional information, affidavit and any proof required, the borough assessor shall evaluate the request and grant or deny the hardship exemption within 15 borough business days.

(a)    If granted, the borough assessor shall grant the exemption in an amount as provided in subsection (B)(7) of this section.

(b)    If denied, the borough assessor shall specify the reasons for the denial.

(D)    Appeals.

(1)    A person may appeal the apportionment of a hardship exemption granted under this chapter or a denial of an application as an administrative appeal to the superior court in accordance with Rules 601 through 612 of the Alaska Rules of Appellate Procedure. Such administrative appeal shall be based on the record upon which the borough assessor based the determination.

(2)    Notwithstanding any other provisions of the borough code, the borough assessor’s determination of tax liability under an application filed pursuant to this chapter is not stayed pending the appeal.

(E)    Penalties.

(1)    Should the applicant make a false statement(s) regarding their eligibility or any question contained in the applications, a $500 infraction fine shall be imposed. In addition, the applicant is liable for immediate payment of an amount equal to the levy multiplied times the exempted amount of the hardship exemption.

(Ord. 07-017(AM), § 2, 2007)

3.15.035 OPTIONAL EXEMPTIONS.

(A)    The assessor may, upon proper application, classify and exempt from taxation:

(1)    the property of an organization not organized for business or profit-making purposes and used exclusively for community purposes if the income derived from rental of that property does not exceed the actual cost to the owner of the use by the renter;

(2)    historic sites, buildings and monuments; and

(3)    land of a nonprofit organization used for agricultural purposes if rights to subdivide the land are conveyed to the state and the conveyance includes a covenant restricting use of the land to agricultural purposes only.

(B)    Motor vehicles shall be subject to a motor vehicle registration tax levied and collected by the state in accordance with A.S. 28.10.431. The motor vehicle registration tax is in lieu of borough ad valorem taxation of the vehicle, until the assembly acts to tax vehicles locally.

(1)    The annual registration tax levied upon motor vehicles subject to the registration fee under A.S. 28.10.411 and 28.10.421 shall be as follows: A.S. 28.10.431(b) Tax According to Age of Vehicle Since Model Year.

Motor Vehicle

1st

2nd

3rd

4th

5th

6th

7th

8th or over

(a) motorcycle

$ 10

$ 10

$ 10

$ 10

$ 10

$ 10

$ 10

$ 10

(b) vehicles specified in A.S. 28.10.421(b)(1)

75

70

65

60

55

50

45

35

(c) vehicles specified in A.S. 28.10.421(b)(3)

75

70

65

60

55

50

45

35

(d) vehicles specified in A.S. 28.10.421(c)(1—4)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5,000 lbs. or less

75

70

65

60

55

50

45

35

5,001 lbs.—12,000 lbs.

110

110

110

110

110

55

55

55

12,001 lbs.—18,000 lbs.

165

165

165

165

165

85

85

85

18,001 lbs. or over

250

232

214

196

178

160

142

125

(e) vehicles specified in A.S. 28.10.421(b)(4)

75

70

65

60

55

50

45

35

(f) vehicles specified in A.S. 28.10.421(b)(6)

10

10

10

10

10

10

10

10

(g) vehicles specified in A.S. 28.10.421(d)(8)

75

70

65

60

55

50

45

35

(h) vehicles specified in A.S. 28.10.421(b)(2)

75

70

65

60

55

50

45

35

(i) vehicles eligible for dealer plates under A.S. 28.10.421(d)(9)

75

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(2)    The biennial tax levied upon motor vehicles subject to the registration fee under A.S. 28.10.411 and 28.10.421 is double that of the table shown in MSB 3.15.035(B)(1).

(C)    All personal property shall be exempt from borough taxation as authorized in A.S. 29.45.050(b)(2) except motor vehicles subject to MSB 3.15.035(B), and business inventory in excess of $1,000,000 in value shall be subject to ad valorem taxation.

(D)    [Repealed by Ord. 96-142 (SUB1)(AM), § 3, 1996]

(E)    [Repealed by Ord. 02-103(AM), § 4, 2002]

(F)    The increase in assessed value of property resulting from timber harvest and related actions is exempt from taxation on the following described property:

(1)    The harvested area of land significantly infested or at risk of being significantly infested with insects due to an infestation of insects in the area in which the land is located.

(2)    Improvements to the real property for which this exemption is sought, including personal property affixed to the improvements located on such property, if they are used for and are necessary for the harvest of the timber that is infested or in danger of being infested.

(3)    To the extent the timber harvest converts exempt property to taxable property, this exemption shall apply to the entire assessed value of the property.

(4)    A significant infestation in the area in which the land is located means a widespread and intensive insect attack that will result in mortality of timber resources or has already caused large scale tree mortality.

(5)    Land considered at risk of being significantly infested must have the following two characteristics:

(a)    the land must have a forest structure that is susceptible to significant insect infestation; and

(b)    a significant level of insect population development that is located immediately adjacent to or within close proximity of the forested land.

(6)    The potential for insect infestation or actual insect infestation shall be verified, in writing, to the borough assessor, by the State Forester.

(7)    For timber to be considered harvested, the timber must be cut and removed.

(8)    No exemption under this section may be granted except upon a properly completed written application using the form prescribed by the assessor. The applicant/owner must file the application no later than the date the detailed plan of operation (DPO) required by 11 AAC 95.220 is filed with the Division of Forestry. In the event the DPO extends beyond the initial assessment year, the applicant must file additional complete application(s) no later than May 15 of each assessment year for which an exemption is sought. The borough assessor must be promptly provided with a copy on any amendment of the DPO.

(9)    The applicant must apply for a borough timber harvest permit for areas more than 40 acres pursuant to MSB 28.60, and provide a copy of such permit to the assessor.

(10)    The applicant must promptly notify the borough in writing if the period of actual operation commences earlier or ends later than the expected dates of operation shown on the timber harvest exemption application.

(11)    The assessor shall have the authority to deny part or all of an exemption request if the application is filed with the assessor within the deadline for filing an application for the 2008 assessment year.

(G)    As permitted by AS 29.45.050, the borough may by ordinance wholly exempt from taxation the real property owned and occupied as a permanent place of abode by a resident who is the widow or widower of a member of the armed forces of the United States injured serving on active duty while eligible for hostile fire or imminent danger pay who dies because of the injury or complications related to the injury or its treatment.

(1)    In order to receive a whole exemption under this subsection, the owner must be an unmarried surviving spouse who has owned and occupied the property on or before January 1 of the assessment year in which the exemption is sought. The owner shall complete and sign an application provided by the assessor and file that application with the assessor prior to April 1 of the tax year. The application must be accompanied by an official copy of the DD Form 1300 Military Death Certificate and any other documentation required by the assessor to verify eligibility for the exemption.

(2)    Once the owner receives an exemption, an application is not required for successive tax years if there is no change in permanent place of abode, residency, ownership, marital status, or any other requirement necessary for eligibility which may affect the exemption qualification of the subject property prior to January 1 of the current tax year.

(3)    If the property is occupied by a person other than the eligible applicant and his or her minor children, the exemption applies only to the portion of the property occupied by the eligible applicant and his or her minor children as a permanent place of abode.

(4)    It shall be the responsibility of every owner receiving an exemption under this section to notify the borough assessor in writing within 30 days of any change in the ownership, residency, permanent place of abode, marital status or any other change which may affect the exemption qualification of the subject property.

(Ord. 12-058 § 2, 2012; Ord. 09-128, § 2, 2009; Ord. 08-023, § 2, 2008; Ord. 02-103(AM), § 4, 2002; Ord. 99-077(AM), § 2, 1999; Ord. 97-003AM, § 2, 1997; Ord. 96-142(SUB1)(AM), §§ 2, 3, 1996; Ord. 96-141(SUB)(AM), § 2, 1996; IM 96-025, pages 1, 2, presented 5-21-96; Ord. 95-118(AM)(SUB), § 2, 1995; Ord. 95-142, § 3 (part), 1995; Ord. 94-085(SUB1)(AM), § 2, 1995; Ord. 94-001AM, § 4 (part), 1994; Ord. 91-008AM, § 3 (part), 1991)

Editor’s Note:

MSB 3.15.035(F), added by Ord. 08-023, expires at midnight on December 31, 2013.

3.15.037 RESIDENTIAL REAL PROPERTY EXEMPTION.

(A)    Twenty thousand dollars of assessed value of a single parcel of residential real property owned and occupied by the owner of record as the owner’s permanent place of residence in the borough shall be exempt from the borough tax levy on real property within the Matanuska-Susitna Borough. This exemption shall be in addition to any other exemption applicable to the property. This exemption shall apply to real property owned and occupied as a permanent place of abode by a resident who is:

(1)    Sixty-five years of age or older;

(2)    A disabled veteran, including a person who was disabled in the line of duty while serving in the Alaska Territorial Guard; or

(3)    At least 60 years old and a widow or widower of a person who qualified for an exemption under subsection (A)(1) or (2) of this section.

(B)    The standards for determining eligibility for the mandatory senior citizen and disabled veteran tax exemptions under MSB 3.15.030 apply to this exemption.

(C)    No exemption under this section may be granted except upon written application on a form provided by the assessor. The owner of record must file the application for this exemption with the assessor no later than April 30th of the assessment year for which the exemption is sought. The owner of record shall not be required to file an updated application for successive years unless there is a change in ownership or occupancy of the residence. (Ord. 12-103, § 2, 2012)

3.15.040 PROPERTY SUBJECT TO TAXATION.

(A)    All property not exempt under the Alaska State Constitution, the laws of the state, the ordinances of the borough, or the laws of the United States is subject to taxation. When any real property otherwise exempt from taxation pursuant to state or federal law, or for any other reason is leased, loaned, or otherwise made available to and used by private persons, the persons’ interest in the property shall be taxed.

(B)    Property taxes, with collection charges, penalties, interest, and maintenance costs are prior and paramount liens upon the property.

(C)    All property subject to taxation shall be annually taxed at its full and true value as of January 1 of each tax year, except as provided in this section, A.S. 29.45.060, and A.S. 29.45.230.

(Ord. 94-001AM, § 4 (part), 1994; Ord. 91-008AM, § 3 (part), 1991)

3.15.050 PROPERTY TAX ASSESSMENTS.

The assessor shall annually compile a list of all property subject to property taxes for the tax year. The assessor shall annually appraise all property subject to tax in the borough.

(Ord. 91-008AM, § 3 (part), 1991)

3.15.060 METHODS OF ASSESSMENT.

(A)    Full and true value. The assessor shall appraise property at its full and true value as of January 1 of the assessment year, except as provided by state law.

(B)    Taxation of personal property. Personal property which has a tax situs within the borough on January 1 of the tax year is subject to taxation at the rates applicable to real property in the location within the borough where the personal property is most often found.

(C)    Taxation of private interests. Private lease-holds, contracts or other interest in land or property owned or held by the United States, the state, or other political subdivisions, shall be taxable to the extent of the private interest.

(D)    Methods to be used to assess business inventories. The borough may use any lawful method to establish the full and true value of business inventory.

(E)    Method of determining the full and true value of property that qualifies for a low-income housing credit under 26 USC 42. In accordance with A.S. 29.45.110(d), the full and true value of all property within the Matanuska-Susitna Borough, regardless of the date it first qualifies for low-income housing credit under 26 USC 42, shall be based on the actual income derived from the property and may not be adjusted based on the amount of federal income tax credit given for the property.

(1) To secure an assessment under this subsection, an owner of property that qualifies for the low-income housing credit shall apply to the assessor before May 15 of each year in which the assessment is desired. The property owner shall submit an application on forms prescribed by the assessor and shall include information that may reasonably be required by the assessor to determine the entitlement of the applicant.

(Ord. 04-010, § 2, 2004; Ord. 91-008AM, § 3 (part), 1991)

3.15.070 ASSESSMENT PROCEDURE.

(A)    The assessor shall annually assess and list on the assessment roll all real and personal property in accordance with A.S. 29.45.110(a).

(B)    The assessor shall complete the annual assessment roll in accordance with A.S. 29.45.240.

(C)    The assessor may list property on a supplemental assessment roll in accordance with A.S. 29.45.220.

(D)    Real property shall be assessed to the record owner in accordance with A.S. 29.45.160(b).

(E)    Upon certification of the assessment roll, the assessor may not invalidate a tax assessment pursuant to A.S. 29.45.160(b).

(F)    The description of real property on the assessment roll or other tax documents issued by the borough is sufficient if it provides a reasonably certain identification of the property.

(Ord. 94-001AM, § 4 (part), 1994; Ord. 91-008AM, § 3 (part), 1991)

3.15.075 TAX ADJUSTMENTS ON PROPERTY AFFECTED BY FIRE.

(A)    Reassessment of property damaged by fire. An owner of any taxable property within the borough, or any person liable for the taxes thereon, whose property was damaged by fire without his or her fault, may apply for reassessment of that property under this section if the loss exceeds $1,000. In addition, the assessor may initiate such reassessment where the mayor determines that within the current assessment year taxable property located in the borough was damaged by fire.

(B)    Definitions. Unless the context clearly requires a different meaning, the following words and phrases as used in this section are defined as shown below:

•    “Damage” means harm resulting from physical injury to property, including partial or total destruction, and a diminution in the value of improvements or land resulting from fire.

•    “Fire” includes manmade and act-of-nature events.

(C)    Application for reassessment.

(1)    The application for reassessment must be filed with the assessor within 60 days of the enactment of the ordinance codified in this section, or within 60 days of the fire by delivering to the assessor a written application, on a form provided by the assessor, requesting reassessment and describing the condition and value of the property immediately before and after the damage or destruction.

(2)    If no application is made and the assessor determines that within the calendar year a property has suffered damage caused by fire that may qualify the property owner for relief, the assessor may provide the last known owner of the property with an application for reassessment. The property owner shall file the completed application within 30 days of the date of the mailing of notification by the assessor but in no case more than 60 days after the occurrence of said damage by fire.

(3)    Upon receiving the proper application, the assessor or assessor’s designee will inspect the property and verify the prior year’s full and true value of land, improvements, personal property, or the proposed or certified current year’s value immediately before and after the damage or destruction by fire.

(4)    If an applicant has refused or failed to provide the assessor or the assessor’s agent full access to property or records reasonably requested by the assessor, the applicant shall be precluded from any reduction or relief, and any valuation or valuation issue affected by the lack of access shall be decided in favor of the assessor.

(5)    Any damages to land, improvements, personal property, or additions that do not appear on the assessment roll are not eligible for consideration under this section.

(D)    Notice of reassessment. The assessor shall notify the applicant in writing of the amount of the proposed reassessment. The notice shall state that the applicant may appeal the proposed reassessment to the board of equalization within 30 days of the date of mailing the notice.

(E)    Appeal. Appeals of the reassessed value shall be heard in accordance with the valuation and tax appeal procedures provided in MSB 3.15.200 through 3.15.230. A decision of the board of equalization regarding reassessment issued pursuant to this section shall create no presumption regarding the value of the affected property for tax years after the date of the damage or destruction by fire.

(F)    Tax roll adjustment. Any reassessed value resulting from one or more reductions in full and true value of amounts, as determined above, shall be entered as an adjustment on the assessment roll.

(G)    Tax adjustment. The tax rate fixed for the property so reassessed shall be applied to the amount of the reassessment as determined in accordance with this section. A reduction of taxes may be made only on losses in excess of $1,000 for the remainder of the year following the disaster. On reassessment, the taxes shall be recomputed. Any tax paid in excess of the total tax due shall be refunded to the taxpayer as an erroneously collected tax within 60 days of the final determination of the adjusted tax liability.

(H)    Effect of revised assessment. The assessed value of the property in its damaged condition, as determined pursuant to this section, shall be the taxable value of the property until December 31st of the year in which the disaster occurred, unless the value is otherwise adjusted as allowed by law.

(Ord. 07-094, § 2, 2007)

3.15.080 PERSONAL PROPERTY SUBJECT TO TAXATION.

Personal property with a tax situs within the borough is subject to taxation, unless exempt as provided by law.

(Ord. 91-008AM, § 3 (part), 1991)

3.15.090 TAX SITUS OF PERSONAL PROPERTY.

(A)    All personal property which has a tax situs within the borough on January 1 of the tax year is subject to taxation. Tax situs means the principle place where an item of personal property is located, having due regard to the residence and domicile of its owner, the place where it is registered or licensed, whether it is taxed by other municipalities, and any other factors which may indicate the principal location of the property.

(B)    Tax situs shall be conclusively presumed to be within the Matanuska-Susitna Borough if:

(1)    the property either singly or in combination has been or is:

(a)    usually used in the borough;

(b)    kept or used in the borough for 90 days or more in the months preceding the January 1 assessment; or

(c)    kept or used in the borough for any length of time preceding January 1 of the assessment year if the presence or use is intended to be for a period of 90 days or more.

(2)    The ownership, maintenance, or use of the property requires a license or permit, and a license or permit has been issued by the state or borough, and any of the following is met:

(a)    either the actual residence address or the mailing address of the licensee or permittee, or of the permissive user of the property, is in the borough;

(b)    the domicile of the licensee or permittee, or the permissive user of the property, is in the borough; even if the property is in the custody of persons or entities outside of the borough; or

(c)    the property is permanently outside the borough when the licensing frees the owner or user or custodian of liability for similar taxes in any other taxing jurisdiction.

(Ord. 94-001AM, § 4 (part), 1994; Ord. 91-008AM, § 3 (part), 1991)

3.15.100 FILING PERSONAL PROPERTY TAX RETURNS.

Personal property tax returns shall be filed on or before March 15 of each tax year in accordance with A.S. 29.45.120.

(Ord. 94-001AM, § 4 (part), 1994; Ord. 91-008AM, § 3 (part), 1991)

3.15.110 INDEPENDENT INVESTIGATION.

The assessor, in accordance with A.S. 29.45.130, may make an independent investigation of property listed on a return or of any taxable property on which no return has been filed.

(Ord. 91-008AM, § 3 (part), 1991)

3.15.120 RESPONSIBILITY OF CORPORATE OFFICERS AND DIRECTORS; CORPORATE FILINGS.

It shall be the responsibility of every director and principal officer of a corporation owning or controlling business personal property or inventory to ensure that timely and proper filings are made on behalf of corporations for each tax year. Failure on the part of any director or officer of a corporation to file a timely and proper tax return is punishable as a misdemeanor under this title.

(Ord. 91-008AM, § 3 (part), 1991)

3.15.130 LATE FILING.

If the property tax which is levied results from a delinquent filing of a personal property tax return, penalty, interest and administrative costs shall be applied to the property pursuant to MSB 3.15.240. A personal property tax return is delinquent if filed after March 15 of each tax year.

(Ord. 94-001AM, § 4 (part), 1994; Ord. 91-008AM, § 3 (part), 1991)

3.15.140 INVOLUNTARY FILING.

Where the assessor has reasonable grounds to believe that a person owned taxable personal property on the date the tax liability attached to the property, and the person has failed to file a return as required by this chapter, the assessor may prepare and file an involuntary tax return on the owner’s behalf. Payment of the tax under involuntary filing shall include penalty, interest, and administrative costs pursuant to MSB 3.15.240.

(Ord. 94-001AM, § 4 (part), 1994; Ord. 91-008AM, § 3 (part), 1991)

3.15.150 FAILURE TO FILE.

Failure to file a timely return as required by this chapter adds a 15 percent late filing penalty to the tax principal and, in addition, is a misdemeanor punishable under MSB 3.15.270. Interest on the tax, as well as penalty for failure to pay, shall be calculated after the penalty for failure to file has been added to the tax principal.

(Ord. 94-001AM, § 4 (part), 1994; Ord. 91-008AM, § 3 (part), 1991)

3.15.160 DISCLOSURE OF OWNERSHIP.

(A)    Any person possessing, leasing, renting, keeping, holding, controlling, storing, or using personal property owned by another person, whether for payment or otherwise, shall, upon request of the assessor, disclose the name and mailing address of the owner of the personal property.

(B)    On request by the assessor, persons leasing, renting or otherwise making private property avail-able to another person for location of a mobile home shall disclose the name and mailing address of the owners of that mobile home to the assessor.

(Ord. 94-001AM, § 4 (part), 1994; Ord. 91-008AM, § 3 (part), 1991)

3.15.170 MOBILE HOMES.

Mobile homes used or intended to be used for residential purposes and not in the same ownership as the land on which it is located, or mobile homes in permitted mobile home parks, may be classified as personal property, pursuant to A.S. 29.45.070.

(Ord. 91-008AM, § 3 (part), 1991)

3.15.180 INSPECTION OF RETURNS; CONFIDENTIALITY.

Personal property tax returns shall be confidential and shall be inspected only by officers authorized to administer the tax laws and law enforcement officers of the United States, the state of Alaska and municipalities, or in response to a valid subpoena. Any employee violating this restriction by communicating information obtained from personal property returns not required to be shown on the assessment roll, or by allowing any person not legally entitled to access to the returns to have access to them, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor punishable under this title.

(Ord. 94-001AM, § 4 (part), 1994; Ord. 91-008AM, § 3 (part), 1991)

3.15.190 ASSESSMENT NOTICE.

(A)    The assessor shall give each person named in the assessment roll a notice of assessment, showing the assessed value of the person’s property. Each notice shall contain a brief summary of the dates when taxes are payable, delinquent and subject to penalty and interest, and the dates when the board of equalization convenes. The assessment notice shall also state that an appeal may be taken to the board of equalization only by filing written notice of appeal in the form approved by the borough, specifying the grounds for the appeal with board of equalization within 30 days after notice of assessment is mailed.

(B)    Sufficient assessment notice is given if mailed by first-class mail 30 calendar days before the equalization hearings. If the address is not known to the assessor, the notice may be addressed to the person at the post office nearest the property. It shall be the responsibility of owner of the property to supply the correct address to which notices are to be sent. Notice is effective on the date of mailing.

(C)    A person receiving an assessment notice shall advise the assessor of errors or omissions in the assessment of the person’s property. The assessor may correct errors or omissions in the roll prior to the board of equalization hearings. If errors found in the preparation of the assessment roll are adjusted, the assessor shall mail a corrected notice, allowing 30 calendar days for appeal to the board of equalization.

(Ord. 94-001AM, § 4 (part), 1994; Ord. 91-008AM, § 3 (part), 1991)

3.15.200 BOARD OF EQUALIZATION; APPEAL.

(A)    A person whose name appears on the assessment roll 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.

(B)    The appellant shall, within 30 calendar days after the date of mailing of notice of assessment, submit to the assessor a written appeal specifying grounds in the form that the board of equalization may require. Otherwise, the right of appeal ceases unless the board of equalization finds that the taxpayer was unable to comply. The assessor shall assign a case number to the appeal within one week of filing.

(C)    The assessor shall notify an appellant by mail and e-mail if provided by the appellant of the time and place of hearing.

(D)    The assessor shall prepare for use by the board of equalization a summary of assessment data relating to each assessment that is appealed. This summary shall be provided to the board and to the appellant at least five business days before the hearing. Any available information is a public record available to any person requesting it.

(1)    The assessor shall provide available comparable property information for property assessments that have increased by more than 10 percent unless improvements to the property have been made such as natural gas, road access, or additions. This information shall be provided to the board of equalization and to the appellant at least five business days before the hearing.

(E)    [Repealed by Ord. 07-012(AM), § 2, 2007]

(F)    The assessment administrative assistant shall serve as the clerk to the board of equalization and shall perform all duties necessary to support the board, including, but not limited to: scheduling meetings; distributing information to the members; preparing agendas, minutes, and final orders; and meeting set up and break down.

(G)    The board of equalization clerk shall begin scheduling a calendar of hearing dates beginning on or about April 20th. The assessor shall notify the appellant by mail and e-mail if provided by the appellant of the time and place for the hearing before the board.

(H)    A property owner who seeks to appeal the assessor’s valuation, after the 30-day filing period has closed, shall file a letter with the assessor stating the reasons why the property owner was unable to comply with the 30-day appeal period. The deadline to submit a late-file request is no later than May 2nd of the current assessment year. The board or a panel thereof shall consider each letter and shall only consider reasons the appellant was unable to comply with the 30-day appeal period. It shall not consider evidence regarding property valuation. The determination shall be based on the letter and supporting documents. The board or a panel thereof shall interpret the term “unable to comply” as meaning that a property owner must demonstrate compelling reasons or circumstances which would prevent a reasonable person under the circumstances from filing an appeal in a timely manner during the 30-day appeal period. If the late-file request is granted, the property owner shall have 10 calendar days from the date of written notification by the assessor to file an appeal. If the late-file request is denied, the assessor shall notify the property owner of the board’s decision in writing and e-mail, when it is provided by the appellant.

(I)    A city in the borough may appeal an assessment to the board of equalization in the same manner as a taxpayer. Within five days after receipt of the appeal, the assessor shall notify the person whose property assessment is being appealed by a city.

(Ord. 11-045, § 2, 2011: Ord. 10-008(AM), § 2, 2010; Ord. 07-012(AM), § 2, 2007: Ord. 94-001AM, § 4 (part), 1994; Ord. 91-008AM, § 3 (part), 1991)

3.15.210    Board of Equalization. [Repealed by Ord. 07-012(AM), § 3, 2007]

3.15.215 BOARD OF EQUALIZATION; MEMBERSHIP; DUTIES; TERMS OF OFFICE.

(A)    Membership. The board of equalization consists of a pool of not less than six and up to 15 members, not assembly members, appointed by the mayor and confirmed by the assembly. The assessor, coordinating with the board chair, shall schedule a calendar of hearing dates. The chair, upon a finding of excessive caseload, may establish up to five panels each year. Each such panel hearing appeals shall consist of at least three members. The assignment of members to such panels and the establishment of a hearing calendar shall be done by the chair in consultation with the individual members. Additionally, members may be asked to take the place of regular assigned panel members in the event an assigned panel member is unable to attend a scheduled meeting.

(B)    The board shall select a presiding officer at its first annual meeting.

(C)    Qualifications of members. Members shall be residents of the borough and be appointed on the basis of their general business expertise and their knowledge or experience with quasi-judicial proceedings. General business expertise may include real and personal property appraisal, the real estate market, the personal property market, and other similar fields.

(D)    Duties. The board shall only hear appeals for relief from an alleged error in valuation on properties brought before the board by an appellant. A board or a panel thereof hearing a case must first make a determination whether an error in valuation has occurred. Following the determination of an error in valuation, the panel may alter an assessment of property only if there is sufficient evidence of value in the record. Lacking sufficient evidence on the record, the case may be remanded to the assessor for reconsideration, gathering of information on value, and a time certain to return to the board. A hearing by the board may be conducted only pursuant to an appeal filed by the owner or agent of the property as to the particular property.

(E)    The board shall be called as required for equalization matters.

(F)    Compensation of members. Compensation for members shall be $50 per daily session. All requests for reimbursement shall be actual expenses incurred on authorized board business.

(G)    Term of office. Terms of office shall be for three years and shall be staggered so that approximately one-third of the terms shall expire each year on December 31. A board member may not serve more than two full consecutive terms. A board member who serves more than one-half of a term is considered to have served a full term. After one year from the date of termination of a board member’s second full consecutive term, the ex-board member may be reappointed to the board.

(H)    Chair. The board shall annually elect a member to serve as its chair. The chair shall coordinate all board activities with the assessor including assignment of panel members, scheduling of meetings, and other such board activities. If hearing panels are established, each panel shall elect its own presiding chair to act as the chair for the panel and shall exercise such control over meetings as to ensure the fair and orderly resolution of appeals. In the absence of the elected presiding chair, the panel shall appoint a temporary presiding chair at the beginning of a regular meeting. The presiding chair shall make rulings on the admissibility of evidence and shall conduct the proceedings of the panel in conformity with this chapter and with other applicable federal, state, and borough law.

(I)    Report to the assembly. The board, through its chair, shall submit an independent report to the assembly each year by September 15 identifying, at a minimum, the number of cases appealed, the number of cases scheduled to be heard by the board, the number of cases actually heard, the percentage of cases where an error of valuation was determined to exist, the number of cases remanded to the assessor for reconsideration, the number of cases resulting in the board altering a property assessment, and the net change to taxable property caused by board action. The report shall also include any comments and recommendations the board wishes to offer concerning changes to property assessment and appeals processes.

(J)    The assessment administrative assistant shall be the board of equalization’s clerk, and shall prepare the board’s minutes. The board of equalization summary report and summary certification to the assembly will constitute the board’s minutes. All changes, revisions, corrections, and orders relating to claims or adjustments and all final decisions shall be recorded in the appeal record to be kept by the board of equalization clerk.

(Ord. 10-008(AM), § 3, 2010; Ord. 07-012(AM), § 4, 2007)

3.15.220    Board of Equalization; Hearing. [Repealed by Ord. 07-012(AM), § 5, 2007]

3.15.225 BOARD OF EQUALIZATION; HEARING.

(A)    Preparation of appeal packet. The borough assessor shall furnish the board of equalization or a panel thereof, and the applicant, with copies of the appellant’s appeal and a summary of assessment data relating to the appeal. Such material shall be considered as part of the official testimony the board may hear. The assessor or his representative may supplement the record by additional testimony, documentation and exhibits in accordance with subsection (E) of this section.

(B)    Hearing panel, quorum and voting.

(1)    Hearing. A hearing will be conducted before a panel of not more than five members.

(2)    Quorum. A quorum for hearing appeals shall consist of three members.

(3)    Voting. The board may not act except upon a concurrence of a majority of the members present. Any appeal or part thereof which is not granted by the panel shall be considered denied.

(C)    Failure of appellant to appear. If an appellant fails to appear in person, the board of equalization may proceed with the hearing.

(D)    Oath to be administered. Anyone testifying before the board shall be administered an oath prior to giving testimony.

(E)    Conduct of hearings; decisions. Except as otherwise provided in this chapter, hearings shall be conducted in accordance with the following rules:

(1)    Record. The board of equalization clerk shall keep electronic recordings of the board’s proceedings. The board of equalization clerk shall prepare written certification at the end of all board proceedings showing the vote of each member on every question and such certification shall be signed by the chair of the board.

(2)    Counsel. All parties may be represented by counsel during hearings before the board. On procedural matters a borough attorney may offer legal counsel to the board in the course of its proceedings. Upon the recommendation of the borough attorney, the board may retain legal counsel from another attorney for a particular matter.

(3)    Case number. Every appeal shall be assigned a case number, which shall be read into the record along with the name of the appellant and the tax identification number, at the commencement of the hearing on that appeal.

(4)    Burden of proof. The burden of proof rests with the appellant. The only grounds for adjustment of an assessment are unequal, excessive, improper or under valuation based on the facts stated in a valid written appeal or proven at the appeal hearing in accordance with subsections (E)(5) and (E)(7) of this section. If the valuation is found to be too low, the board may raise the assessment. The borough shall make available to the appellant all reasonably pertinent documents requested for presentation of the appeal, including, but not limited to, documents presented or requested by the board of equalization for presentation of the appeal.

(5)    Rules of evidence. Evidence shall only be presented by the appellant and the assessor or their authorized representative. The board shall not be restricted by the formal rules of evidence; however, the presiding chair may exclude evidence irrelevant to the issues appealed. Hearsay evidence may be considered; provided, that there are adequate guarantees of its trustworthiness and that it is more probative on the point for which it is offered than any other evidence which the proponent can procure by reasonable efforts. The appellant must submit to the assessor’s office within 15 days after the close of appeal period, or within ten calendar days after notification of a board-approved late-file request, all documentary evidence in their possession which they wish to be considered and which is relevant to the resolution of the appeal. This evidence includes but is not limited to purchase and closing documents, appraisal reports, broker’s opinion of value, engineers’ reports, estimates to repair, rent rolls, leases, and income and expense information. The board of equalization may in its discretion decline to accept documents offered at the hearing which should have been provided within 15 days from the close of the appeal period or within ten calendar days after notification of a board-approved late-file request. In exercising this discretion, the board shall consider the relevance and probative value of the documents which are under consideration accepting those documents which in all fairness are necessary to a fair resolution of the appeal. Prior to the board meeting, the appellant and assessor may agree to an extension of time for the production of evidence.

(6)    Order of presentation. The appellant shall present evidence and argument first. Following the appellant, the assessor or his representative shall present the borough’s evidence and argument. Each party shall be allowed a total of five minutes to present evidence and make oral argument unless additional time is permitted by the presiding chair. The appellant may make a rebuttal presentation, not to exceed two minutes, directed solely to the issues raised by the assessor. The members of the board may ask questions, through the presiding chair, of either the appellant or the assessor at any time during the hearing. After both the appellant and the assessor have made their presentations, each may question the other through the presiding chair. The presiding chair may end the questioning and call for a motion from the other members.

(7)    Witnesses, exhibits and other evidence. The appellant and the assessor may offer oral testimony of witnesses and documentary evidence during the hearing.

(a)    At the request of the appellant, evidence submitted pursuant to subsection (E)(5) of this section relating to the assessed valuation of property used in an income-producing commercial enterprise shall be confidential. The assessor and the appellant may stipulate facts to be presented to the board, provided the assessor has received credible and reliable evidence to establish the facts.

(8)    Decisions. At the conclusion of the hearing, the panel shall determine, based solely on the evidence submitted, whether the assessment is unequal, excessive, improper or undervalued. The board or a panel thereof shall render a decision which includes findings of fact and conclusions of law clearly stating the grounds upon which the panel relied to reach its decision and advising all parties of their right to appeal the decision to superior court.

(9)    Certification. The chair shall certify and issue the written decision of the panel regarding an appeal to the assessor within seven days of its issuance. The board shall notify the appellant in writing of its decision regarding each individual case within seven days.

(10)    Termination of appeal upon agreement between appellant and assessor. After an appeal to the board of equalization has been filed, any value which has been agreed to by the assessor and the appellant shall constitute a withdrawal and termination of the appeal by the appellant and the agreed-upon valuation shall become the assessed value.

(11)    Additional rules and procedures. Other procedures and rules of operation may be adopted by the board of equalization which are consistent with general rules of administrative procedure.

(F)    Appeal to superior court. The decision of the board may be appealed to the superior court within 30 calendar days in accordance with the Alaska State Rules of Appellate Procedure.

(Ord. 10-008(AM), § 4, 2010; Ord. 07-012(AM), § 6, 2007)

3.15.230 ENFORCEMENT OF TAX OBLIGATIONS.

(A)    Liens. Property tax obligations are liens upon the property which are prior and paramount to all other liens or encumbrances against the property. Enforcement of property tax obligations shall be conducted in accordance with applicable state law and the procedures in this chapter.

(B)    Distraint. The lien on personal property taxes may be enforced by distraint and sale of the property pursuant to this subsection.

(1)    Upon application to the trial courts and after written demand is first made of the person assessed for the amount of tax, penalty and interest owing, the manager may obtain a judicial order directing that property for which the taxes, penalty and interest are owed shall be distrained and held for further proceedings if the borough demonstrates specific facts by affidavit based on personal knowledge that the property:

(a)    has been concealed, is concealed, or is about to be concealed;

(b)    is about to be destroyed;

(c)    is in the process of or about to be removed from the jurisdiction;

(d)    is about to be conveyed or encumbered; or

(e)    is otherwise being disposed of, or about to be disposed of, in a manner so as to defraud the borough.

(2)    Upon execution of an order distraining the property, a hearing shall be conducted no more than seven days, exclusive of Saturdays, Sundays and legal holidays, following the execution of the order, at which time the validity of the borough’s lien shall be tested and other matters relevant to disposition of the tax obligation shall be heard. The owner, upon execution of the order, shall be notified of the time and place set for hearing. In the event personal service on the owner is impossible, alternative methods of service consistent with the Alaska State Rules of Civil Procedure may be employed, but in no case may the hearing required by this section be held more than seven days following the date of actual or constructive service on the legal owner.

(3)    At the hearing, the borough and the legal owner of the property distrained may present evidence and offer arguments to help determine whether there exists a valid lien for personal property taxes on the property distrained, and whether the taxes, penalty, and interest remain unpaid. If the court finds that a valid lien exists on the property distrained and that taxes, penalty or interest on the property are unpaid, the court shall issue an order of sale directing that the property be sold to satisfy the tax obligation.

(4)    Order of sale issued pursuant to this section shall require sale by public auction, and may not be effective sooner than 15 days following the hearing. Proceeds shall be applied first to attorneys’ fees, costs, penalty, interest, and taxes; remaining proceeds shall be returned to the last owner of the property distrained.

(C)    Civil action. The borough may, in addition to other remedies provided in this chapter, initiate civil actions to collect unpaid taxes, penalty and interest.

(Ord. 94-001AM, § 4 (part), 1994; Ord. 91-008AM, § 3 (part), 1991)

3.15.240 RATES OF PENALTY AND INTEREST AND COLLECTION OF ADMINISTRATIVE COSTS.

A penalty of five percent of the tax due shall be added to all delinquent taxes on the day they become delinquent and every 30 calendar days thereafter. However, the total penalty shall not exceed 15 percent of the tax due. Interest of two percent above the prime rate as of the date of levy shall accrue upon all unpaid taxes, not including penalty, from the due date until paid in full. In addition to interest and penalty, the borough may collect all costs associated with managing and maintaining the property or any costs authorized by law. A penalty of 15 percent on tax due shall accrue upon the late return of personal property assessments. The penalty and interest on all unpaid installments accrue from the date the installment becomes due.

(Ord. 95-117, § 2, 1995; Ord. 94-001AM, § 4 (part), 1994; Ord. 91-065, § 2, 1991; Ord. 91-008AM, § 3 (part), 1991)

3.15.250 FORECLOSURE LIST.

(A)    The borough shall prepare an annual foreclosure list pursuant to A.S. 29.45.330.

(B)    The provisions of A.S. 29.45.340 through 29.45.490 apply to borough delinquent property tax foreclosures.

(C)    The borough shall not foreclose against property determined by a federal, state or local agency to be contaminated or found to contain hazardous materials subject to regulation by a federal, state or local government. The borough may proceed with a personal action against the delinquent taxpayer to collect the tax, costs, penalty and interest.

(Ord. 94-001AM, § 4 (part), 1994; Ord. 91-008AM, § 3 (part), 1991)

3.15.260 REFUND OF TAXES.

Any refund of taxes shall be in accord with A.S. 29.45.500.

(Ord. 94-001AM, § 4 (part), 1994; Ord. 91-008AM, § 3 (part), 1991)

3.15.270 PENALTY FOR VIOLATION.

(A)    Unless another penalty is expressly provided by law, every person convicted of a violation of any provision of this chapter shall be punishable by a fine of not more than $500, or by imprisonment for not more than 30 days, or by both fine and imprisonment.

(B)    Every person convicted of knowingly failing to file a tax statement required by ordinance, or knowingly making a false affidavit to a statement required by a tax ordinance relative to the amount, location, kind, or value of property subject to taxation with intent to evade the taxation, shall be punishable by a fine of not more than $1,000 or imprisonment for 90 days, or both fine and imprisonment as provided by A.S. 29.45.149.

(Ord. 94-001AM, § 4 (part), 1994; Ord. 91-008AM, § 3 (part), 1991)

3.15.280 INCORPORATION.

To the extent applicable and not inconsistent with the specific provisions of this chapter, state law is applicable to the collection of real and personal property taxes in the borough.

(Ord. 94-001AM, § 4 (part), 1994; Ord. 91-008AM, § 3 (part), 1991)