To the Editor,
I recently received a delinquent notice from the Kodiak Island Borough for my property tax bill being two days late. I owed 10% interest on a $1,300 tax bill for my remote property — that’s a $130 late fee for a couple of days ... The value of my property was based on Borough employees measuring my plywood cabin with measuring tape and “guestimating” how much I paid for the land. This caused me to ponder what I am receiving for the more than $10,000 dollars I have paid to the Kodiak Island Borough over the years for the “privilege” of owning property.
In case you are wondering, my property is far from any roads, schools, or government services of any kind. Yes, I understand and agree that we should all contribute to education, but I wonder why I am paying a 10 mill rate to the Kodiak Island Borough when my children would not receive even 1% of the education services someone in town would. I voted against the new (and expensive) addition to the high school, not once but twice- and yet, as a rural property owner, I am being saddled with the debt that project has incurred.
What about the villages that have lost their schools? Are they going to have their property tax lowered to reflect the loss of services? Perhaps rural property owners need to be better represented. It is difficult to make a living in rural Alaska and becoming more difficult every year, especially for young people. We are seeing families leave to find places more affordable and to find work. I too, have moved back to town, but I hate the idea of losing my remote place — so I keep paying the taxes.