I had breakfast with Larry Norene today. He and I served on the old Board of Equalization. Larry has an interesting take on the new exemption that gives owner-occupants a 10% discount off their assessed valuation, to a maximum of $20,000. Larry points out that the actual tax savings is not as much as you would think. This is because when assessed values are reduced by these discounts, the mill rates will go up so that enough revenue is collected to fund the budget.
By the way, you have to apply for the discount, so don't throw out the mailer you received this week. The Assessor's staff will be checking all applications against Permanent Fund records. Whether this is a good use of their time is debatable, so one has to wonder if this is perhaps a false savings.
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