Alaska Property Taxes
Overview of Alaska Property Taxes
Every homeowner in Alaska must pay property taxes every year. As is the case with most states, Alaska property taxes are administered by local authorities. The taxes are used to fund local government functions and school districts. The state and its local governments collect an annual total revenue of $11.6 billion. Of that, $1.6 billion or 13.49% of total revenue is from property taxes. Alaska is generally a high tax state and the average homeowner pays $10.56 for every $1,000 of home value in property taxes.
The average Alaska property tax bill adds up to $2,725. However, that figure depends on the location of your property. For instance, homeowners in Haines Borough pay an average of $1,525 while those in the Prince of Wales-Hyder Census Area pay $245.
How do Alaska property taxes work? It starts with the assessment of the property to know its value. The state of Alaska requires that residential properties be assessed at their full and true value, or the amount an unknowing buyer would pay for the property. Municipalities and boroughs, which are the equivalent of counties, assign value to property each year, but the assessors are only required to physically visit the property at least once in six years. Any tax exemptions are then applied to the assessed value to get the taxable value. For instance, if your home has an assessed value of $200,000 and you are eligible for an exemption of $50,000, your taxable value would be $150,000. Tax rates are applied to that value to calculate your annual Alaska property tax bill.
Alaska property tax rates are determined by local taxing districts depending on their budgetary requirements and the total of assessed values within their jurisdiction. The rates are expressed in mills, with a mill equal to $1 of tax for every $1,000 in assessed value. For instance, if your property has an assessed value of $100,000 against a total mill rate of 25, your Alaska property tax bill would add up to $2,500. Note; this figure is for a homeowner who doesn't qualify for any of the exemptions.
The state of Alaska laws states that tax rates cannot exceed 30 mills or 3% of the property's assessed value. Additionally, a municipality or a combination of municipalities cannot charge one resident more than $1,500 in Alaska property taxes.
If you are planning to buy a home in Alaska and want to understand how much your property tax bill could potentially cost, check out our Alaska Property Tax Tool to see what your bill would be.
Alaska Property Tax Due Dates
Properties in Alaska are assessed as of January every year. Homeowners receive their tax notices on May 15 each year. However, the mailing date can change depending on when a municipality sets its tax rates. Failure to receive a tax bill doesn't excuse you from paying your Alaska property taxes. If you don't receive a tax bill, contact the tax department.
You can appeal property taxes if you feel your property was wrongly appraised. You start by raising your objections with the assessor within 30 days of receiving the Assessment Notice. If the meeting with the assessor doesn't result in a favorable decision, you can appeal to the Board of Equalization (BOE). You can further appeal the BOE's decision to the Superior Court within 30 days of receiving the BOE's decision. However, you can only appeal the valuation of your property, not the amount of taxes.
But when are taxes due in Alaska? Alaska property taxes are due in two installments. The first half is due on June 15 while the second half is due on August 15. Taxes not paid by Alaska property tax due dates result in penalties computed at a rate of 10% and interest charged at 2%. It is noteworthy that the interest rate is multiplied by the late property taxes with charges accruing monthly. The state accepts advance payments in form of cash and checks from January 1 to May 15 in each tax year.
If your taxes become delinquent, the municipality can file for foreclosure with the Superior Court. Homeowners have a one-year "redemption period in which to clear delinquent Alaska property taxes, interest, and accrued costs. If the taxes remain unpaid after the redemption period elapses, your property is deeded to the municipality.
Alaska Property Tax Exemptions
Besides the option to appeal property taxes if your property is wrongly assessed, the state of Alaska offers several exemptions to eligible homeowners. They include the senior and homestead exemptions. The exemptions reduce your Alaska property tax bill and make the state taxpayer-friendly. However, even eligible homeowners must comply with Alaska property tax due dates.
Alaska Homestead Exemption
Homeowners in Alaska are eligible for a homestead exemption for a property used as a principal residence. However, the value of the exemption must not exceed $54,000. The exemption also protects up to $70,200 of your home's equity against creditors in case of bankruptcy. You must be a legal resident of Alaska and own the property to qualify.
Alaska Senior Citizens Exemption
Alaska's senior exemption exempts the first $150,000 of assessed value from Alaska property taxes. Eligible senior residents must be aged at least 65 years. The exemption doesn't require homeowners to meet any income limit requirements. The surviving spouse of an eligible senior also qualifies for this exemption. However, they must be at least 60 years old.
Other Alaska property tax exemptions include the Disabled Veteran Exemption which exempts up to $150,000 of the assessed value of a qualifying veteran's principal residence. A surviving spouse of the disabled veteran also qualifies for this exemption as long as they are at least 60 years. Applications for this exemption must be filed by March 15 of the applicable year.
How to Appeal Your Property Taxes in Alaska
You can appeal property taxes in Alaska if you have reasons and evidence disputing the assessor's valuation of your property. The appeal process starts by contacting the property appraiser/assessor within 30 days of receiving the Valuation Notice. This is an opportunity to correct errors and ensure the property profile is accurate. If you still disagree with the assessor, you can file a formal appeal to the Board of Equalization. The BOE sits in April and must complete all hearings by June 21. You can further appeal BOE's decisions to the Superior Court within 30 days of the Board's decision. However, you must pay Alaska property taxes pending the outcome of your appeal.
The process of filing an assessment appeal varies across Alaska though it generally follows the same steps from county to county:
- Obtain your assessment
- Determine if you are overassessed
- Complete forms needed to appeal
- File property tax appeal
- Prepare for hearing
- Attend hearing
- Appeal the decision
How to Appeal Your Property Taxes in Anchorage Municipality
To help you understand how to appeal your property taxes in Alaska, the following is a breakdown of the process in Anchorage Municipality, the most populated municipality in Alaska.
Obtain your assessment
You can find details about your property's assessment on your Valuation Notice. You can also consult the Assessor's Office.
Determine if you are over-assessed
Alaska property taxes are based on your property's market value. You can determine if you are over-assessed by checking out recent sales prices of similar units within your locality. Use TaxProper's search tool to conduct a search on recent sales and compare the sales prices with your property's valuation.
Complete forms needed to appeal
The forms you need to appeal property taxes will be availed to you at the Assessor's Office or the Property Appraisal Division.
File property tax appeal
Appeals must be filed to the Property Appraisal Division within 30 days from the date the Assessment Notice was mailed.
Prepare for hearing
According to Alaska laws, the burden of proof lies with the appellant. You are therefore required to present evidence supporting your opinion of value. The evidence can include but is not limited to comparable sales, sale price of the subject property, and building condition, quality, and age.
The Board of Equalization requires you to attend a property tax appeal hearing. You will need to be sworn in and give your oral testimony. If you fail to appear, the BOE proceeds with the hearing without your presence.
Appeal the decision
The final decision by the BOE can be appealed to the Superior Court within 30 days of the Board's decision.
Property Tax Information for Alaska Municipalities
The table below provides municipality-level information about how property taxes work in each Alaska municipality.
Want to learn more? Click the county links to learn more about a specific Alaska municipality.
|Municipality||Average Home Value||Average Tax Bill||Bill per $1,000|
|Aleutians West Census Area||$223,487||$1,334||$6.00|
|Bristol Bay Borough||$204,944||$870||$4.20|
|Dillingham Census Area||$207,245||$896||$4.30|
|Fairbanks North Star Borough||$221,624||$2,640||$11.90|
|Juneau City and Borough||$324,940||$2,850||$8.80|
|Kenai Peninsula Borough||$228,134||$1,503||$6.60|
|Ketchikan Gateway Borough||$274,289||$2,105||$7.70|
|Kodiak Island Borough||$244,693||$2,292||$9.40|
|Nome Census Area||$149,041||$579||$3.90|
|North Slope Borough||$140,132||$678||$4.80|
|Prince of Wales-Hyder Census Area||$192,225||$245||$1.30|
|Sitka City and Borough||$341,967||$1,686||$4.90|
|Valdez-Cordova Census Area||$195,929||$1,313||$6.70|
|Wrangell City and Borough||$180,875||$926||$5.10|
|Yakutat City and Borough||$155,106||$1,074||$6.90|