The Valdez Star - Serving Prince William Sound and Copper River Basin

By Lee Revis
Valdez Star 

Taxes on real property set at 20 mills for all Valdez property owners

City aims to collect on over $2 billion's worth of properties, including TAPS

 


Valdez property owners will again be taxed at a rate of 20 mills for the 2018 tax year.

The rate has remained at 20 mills since the 2013 tax year.

The move comes after the Valdez City Council approved the rate during its regular May 15 meeting. The resolution passed without discussion by council and no members of the public opted to comment.

The City of Valdez notes that the 20-mill rate is applied to all property owners. By law, local taxing authorities may not impose a higher or lower tax rate for any one type of property. This includes the Trans-Alaska Pipeline and other oil related properties, which the state petroleum accessor has valued at $1,921,355,290.

While the mill rate will remain the same, some property owners may see an increase if their property has appreciated in value.

Property tax mills are calculated by multiplying the assessed value of property by the mill rate and then divide by 1,000. At 20 mills, property with an assessed value of $50,000 will have a property tax bill of $1,000 per year.

Homeowners receive a $50,000 exemption from the assessed value if the home is the primary residence of the owner.

Last year's estimate for oil properties in Valdez were valued at $1,920,886,870. Other private properties in Valdez were valued at $268,767,600.

Brian Carlson, the city's finance director, said the city is allowed to collect up $42.1 million this year based on a formula imposed by the state that limits the amount a municipality can collect on property taxes based on its population.

Valdez expects to collect more than that this year, approximately $1.8 million.

Source: City of Valdez

The excess can be collected by the city but must be allocated to pay off debt such as bonds issued to pay for infrastructure.

Taxes can be paid in installments, with the first half due in early August, the second half due in October.

The city's budget allocates 4.73 mills of property tax collected towards education, with the 15.27 mills allocated for municipal functions and the $1.8 million debt service.

On May 2, the council approved the school district's 2018/19 budget of $12,955,412.64.

Council funded education to the cap - the maximum amount the state allows the city to fund the schools. It also funds school infrastructure outside of the cap that the state imposes on education.

"$1.8 million over the cap," Council member Jim Shirrell said.

 

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