Looking out the road in Wrangell.
(Sage Smiley / KSTK)

Property values in Wrangell have increased by 49.5% compared to last year. 

There’s more than $378.8 million-worth of property in the borough. Just under 60% of that property is taxable – $224.7 million. The rest is owned by the local, state or federal governments, Alaska Native organizations, churches, or by seniors or disabled veterans with tax exemptions. 

The borough reassessed every property in town last year, after decades of inconsistent property assessments. Owners contested around 7% of property assessments, but only a handful of the 179 appeals went before the borough’s Board of Equalization in early May. Most other appeals were dropped or resolved before the equalization board process. 

But while assessed property values increased, it’s not yet clear what that will mean for property taxes. That’s because the borough assembly sets the tax rate, also called the mill rate, each year after assessed property values are finalized. 

Property taxes are determined by multiplying the assessed value by the mill rate, which as of late May is 12.75 for most of the borough – or $12.75 for each $1,000 of assessed value.

In parts of the borough outside what’s called the “Service Area,” places like Olive Cove, Thom’s Place or Meyer’s Chuck, the tax rate is 4 mills, or $4 per $1,000 of assessed value. 

With the 50% increase in assessed value, Wrangell’s assembly has discussed decreasing the mill rate. That would mean the borough wouldn’t take in 50% more property taxes, but would likely take in around what they’ve collected in recent years. Last year, the borough expected to receive around $1.7 million in property tax

Get in touch with KSTK at news@kstk.org or (907) 874-2345.