Item Coversheet

ASSEMBLY AGENDA/MANAGER'S REPORT
THE CITY AND BOROUGH OF JUNEAU, ALASKA

Ordinance 2022-06(b)(C) An Ordinance Appropriating $25,000 to the Manager to Publicly Oppose the Repeal of Mandatory Real Estate Price Disclosure; Funding Provided by General Funds.

MANAGER'S REPORT:

In October 2020, the Assembly adopted Ordinance 2020-47(am) to require the disclosure of real estate transaction prices to the Borough Assessor. Due to lack of compliance and legal issues with the confidential provision with the original ordinance, the Assembly amended the law by ordinance in February 2022 to make sales prices public and institute a civil fine for failure to disclose. A referendum to repeal these ordinances has been certified for the October 2022 ballot. The Assembly’s stated intent with these ordinances was to give the Assessor more access to market sales information in the interest of more accurate assessments for all property owners.  A repeal would give the Assessor less information which would force the Assessor to speculate about real estate market activity. Less sales information and more speculation about the market would result in less accurate assessments that are more prone to surprising value corrections. With passage of this appropriating ordinance, the Assembly and appointed officials would be able to publicly support the merit of mandatory price disclosure and oppose its repeal.

 

The Assembly may determine that it is inappropriate for staff to advocate for the outcome of this ballot proposition and may decline to adopt this Ordinance. During public hearing of this Ordinance, the Assembly should debate the best way to provide the public with information about the reasons why the Administration recommended and the Assembly approved the requirement for disclosure of property sale prices. As it is likely that the sponsors of the referendum will advocate in favor of passage, it is important for the Assembly to consider how the public may understand its action in balancing the needs of privacy of financial information and the needs of equitable taxation.

RECOMMENDATION:

The City Manager recommends the Assembly introduce this ordinance and set it for public hearing at the next regular Assembly meeting.

ATTACHMENTS:
DescriptionUpload DateType
Ordinance 2022-06(b)(C)6/27/2022Appropriating Ordinance