Property Taxes

Key Excerpts from Alaska Statute and Anchorage Municipal Code


Chapter 45. Municipal Taxation.

Sec.29.45.010. Property tax.
(a) A unified municipality may levy a property tax.

Sec.29.45.020. Taxpayer notice.
(a) If a municipality levies and collects property taxes, the governing body shall provide the following notice: "NOTICE TO TAXPAYER. Notice shall be provided by furnishing a copy of the notice with tax statements mailed for the fiscal year for which aid is received. [State Aid]

Sec.29.45.240. Establishment of levy and determination of rate.
(a) The power granted to a municipality to assess, levy, and collect a property tax shall be exercised by means of an ordinance. The rate of levy, the date of equalization, and the date when taxes become delinquent shall be fixed by resolution.

Sec.29.45.250. Rates of penalty and interest.
(a) A penalty not to exceed 20 percent of the tax due may be added to all delinquent taxes, and interest not to exceed 15 percent a year shall accrue upon all unpaid taxes, not including penalty from the due date until paid in full. (b) If a taxpayer is given the right to pay tax in two installments, penalty and interest on an unpaid installment accrues from the date the installment becomes due.

Sec.29.45.320. Real property tax collection.
(a) The municipality shall enforce delinquent real property tax liens by annual foreclosure.

Sec.29.45.500. Refund of taxes.
(b) If, in payment of taxes legally imposed, a remittance by a taxpayer through error or otherwise exceeds the amount due, and the municipality, on audit of the account in question, is satisfied that this is the case, the municipality shall refund the excess to the taxpayer with interest at eight percent from the date of payment. A Claim for refund filed one year after the due date of the tax is forever barred.


Chapter 12. Real Property Taxation

12.05.070 Responsibility of persons subject to taxation to keep current address on file.
It shall be the responsibility of every person who owns or controls real or personal property subject to tax by the municipality to file with the office of the assessor the address where he will receive notices, bills or other correspondence regarding taxation. No person shall be excused from paying taxes or penalties thereon for the reason that he did not receive a tax notice, bill or any other correspondence due to an improper mailing of an assessment notice, billings or other correspondence.

12.15.010 Property subject to taxation. 
A. All real property not exempt under the constitution or laws of the state or the ordinances of the municipality is subject to taxation.

12.15.020 Persons assessed. 
Real property is assessed to the owner of record as shown in the records of the district recorder.

12.15.060 Payment

A. Installments. 
Any taxpayer may pay the property tax for the year in two installments of equal amounts except when the property tax for the year amount to $10.00 or less.

  1. Any installment shall become delinquent on the first business day following the tax installment due date.
  2. Tax bills shall be mailed to owners of record, lessees or persons controlling real property at least 30 days prior to the date taxes owed become due.

B. Property subject to pending appeal.
If a proper appeal has been filed with the board of equalization, and if the assessor's administration review or the board has not decided the appeal on or before the due date established as the due date for the first or second installment under the provisions of subsection A of this section, payment shall nevertheless be made on the basis of the amount billed.

C. Delinquency.

  1. If an installment is not paid in full before the due date, the unpaid balance of that installment becomes delinquent and penalty, interest and costs accrue as follows:
      1. Penalty. A penalty of ten percent on the unpaid balance of a tax installment which was due shall be added to the delinquent tax.
      2. Accrual of interest. In addition to the penalty set out in subsection C.1.a of this section, interest shall be charged on the unpaid balance of delinquent taxes. No interest shall be applied until the first day of the month following the due date of the original tax bill. When interest is to be applied, it shall be calculated on a monthly basis. In addition, interest shall be collected for the period of time which is the portion of the month in which the tax bill was due and delinquent.
      3. Interest rate. The interest rate shall be determined each year to be a rate equivalent to the prime rate as of April 15, plus two percent points. If the prime rate is not published as of April 15 of any year, the interest rate shall be determined to be a rate equivalent to the prime rate as of the first business day following April 15 plus two percentage points. The interest rate, as determined pursuant to this subsection, shall be effective May 1 of each year and continue in force for one year…
      4. Costs. In addition to the penalties and interest provided for this subsection, costs associated with collection of current or delinquent taxes, interest or penalties shall be charged.
  2. Following each due date of taxes, seven calendar days shall elapse before any penalty is added to the tax. At the expiration of the seven-calendar-day grace period, the penalty will be added.

  3. All interest charged on tax payments shall be applied only on the principal, not on penalties or costs, and shall run from the date when the installment was due to the time it is paid.

D. Tax under $20.00.
No person shall be billed for payment of municipal property tax if that person's current annual property tax bill totals less than $20.00. E.  Application of payments. Any payment received shall be applied first to delinquent taxes in the order that the taxes became delinquent and in the following order for each delinquent tax:

  1. Costs
  2. Penalty
  3. Interest
  4. Principal tax 

12.15.065 Tax Penalty Waiver.

A.  Purpose.  The purpose of this section is to authorize and establish a process to waive the late penalty if delinquency is due to catastrophic occurrence.

B.  Definitions.  The following words, when used in this section, shall have the meanings ascribed to them below:

Immediate family shall mean any family member listed in AMC section 3.30.005.

Mail carrier shall mean the U.S. postal service or a nationally recognized express mail carrier.

Primary residence shall mean a dwelling that is owned and occupied as the taxpayer’s primary residence and permanent place of abode for at least 185 days prior to January 1 of the current year. Residency determination shall be consistent with the State of Alaska’s Permanent Fund Dividend standards under AS 43.23.005(a).

Property tax due date shall mean the first or second real property tax installment payment due dates for the current tax year, whereby the first half due date shall, by default, occur on June 30 and the second half​ due date, by default, shall occur on August 31, unless otherwise modified by assembly resolution.

Serious illness shall mean a medical emergency or significant medical condition that required hospitalization or other medical treatment causing the taxpayer to be incapacitated and not reasonably able to ensure timely and full payment of their property tax bill by the property tax due date or within the seven calendar day grace period.

Taxpayer shall mean any person who is a legal owner of a residential parcel, which serves as their primary residence, or a person lawfully appointed to represent the taxpayer.

Timely payment shall mean payment paid in full by the property tax due date and not subject to delinquent penalty, interest, and costs set out in AMC subsection 12.15.060C.

Treasurer shall mean the Municipal Treasurer, or designee.

C.  Criteria.  For an application for waiver to be considered, a taxpayer acting in good faith, shall:

     1.   Have had no delinquent real property tax payments associated with primary residence in the preceding five calendar years; and

     2.   Have been subject to one of the following documented catastrophic circumstances:

          a.   Death of taxpayer between real property tax billing date and property tax due date. Factors to consider shall include:

               i.    Date of death, evidenced by a death certificate.

          b.   Serious illness of taxpayer occurring within seven calendar days before or after the property tax due date.  Factors to consider shall include:

               i.    Dates, duration, severity, and nature of serious illness; and

               ii.   Explanation of how the serious illness prevented compliance.

          c.   Death or serious illness of taxpayer’s immediate family occurring within seven calendar days before or after the property tax due date.  Factors to consider shall include:

               i.    Relationship of parties involved;

               ii.   Date of death or dates, duration, severity and nature of serious illness; and

               iii.  Explanation of how the event prevented compliance.

          d.   Destruction or unavailability of taxpayer records by a catastrophic event occurring within seven calendar days before or after the property tax due date.  Factors to consider shall include:

                i.    Dates and description of the catastrophic event;

               ii.   Explanation of how the destruction or unavailability of records prevented compliance; and

               iii.  Explanation of all other means explored to secure needed tax information.

          e.   Delivery failure, loss or destruction by the mail carrier, or theft of mail associated with taxpayer’s attempt to make full and timely payment of their real property taxes.  Factors to consider shall include:

               i.    Dates and description of the delivery failure, loss, destruction or theft of mail;

               ii.   Formal written statement of acknowledgement or responsibility from mail carrier as to the circumstances stated by taxpayer; and

               iii.  Dates and description of timeframe during which taxpayer first became aware of an unusual delay in the processing of their tax payment which was explained by mail carrier error or mail theft.

D.  Application for waiver. 

     1.   An application for waiver shall be submitted in writing by the taxpayer on a form provided by the treasurer within 60 days of property tax due date.

     2.   The application shall consist of a form provided by the treasurer and shall include a signed affidavit and any supporting documentation necessary to explain and show how the taxpayer’s circumstances prevented them from ​making timely payment.

E.  Determination and appeal.

      1. The treasurer shall send a written determination letter to the taxpayer indicating approval or denial within 30 days of receipt of the application.

      2.   The determination letter shall include information concerning the taxpayer’s right to appeal the treasurer’s decision to the chief fiscal officer.

      3.   An appeal shall be made in writing within 15 days of the date cited on the treasurer’s determination letter.

      4.   The chief fiscal officer’s decision shall be final and made within 30 days of the taxpayer’s appeal filing date. The treasurer shall communicate to the taxpayer the final decision of the chief fiscal officer.

​F.   Payment due. A waiver is conditioned upon payment of the delinquent tax balance owed by the taxpayer within 30 days of the favorable determination date.  If the taxpayer’s application for waiver is approved, no additional interest shall accrue during this 30 day window.  If taxpayer’s property taxes are not paid within 30 days of the favorable determination date, the waiver is revoked and all penalties interest, and fees are reapplied.

12.15.070 Enforcement of tax obligations. 
A. Lien. Taxes levied on real property are a prior and paramount lien on the property upon which the taxes are levied. The lien includes any penalty or interest which may accrue from the delinquency date.​