Morally, especially after her high horse statements about other peoples' local property taxes over the years, YES.
Legally, after discussing this with Mat-Su Borough cabin owners and looking through the Mat-Su Borough Tax Code today,
Palin refused to accept one of Rep. Vic Kohring's requests for a candidate endorsement over the subject of his being listed as owing tax on a lot in Vicki Lynn Estates. I've known about this for years. Vic's lot shared about 165 feet of boundary with one of my wife's lots in the same subdivision. Vic had obtained it from Kristen Cole (then Kristen Tanner) in a sweetheart deal that has never been investigated. Vic had to have the property, as he had been elected to an Alaska House seat in a district in which he didn't reside or own any property. Later, when Vic had to sell the lot (another pending story) and the district's boundaries had been changed, he moved into his parent's basement or back yard, or moved to Portland Oregon, or something.
There doesn't appear to be a requirement here to report home or lot improvements in
I didn't have to. I checked back then.
When the assessor finally showed up and raised the value of our property about five times more than what I put into the improvements, nobody came after us. And I didn't complain, because the assessment still came in at less than what we knew we might get for the place.
If Jeanne Devon's important story on this becomes a problem for the Palins, they will simply blame it all on the co-owner, whose name appears on the Borough's record of owners of the lot, along with Todd's and Sarah's.
That's their M.O.
This story is just another of many that one of Alaska's bloggers has come up with that hadn't found its way into the Alaska mainstream media.
Update - 6:00 a.m: I missed catching a reporting requirement from the state, regarding reporting of improvements to one's real property. Here are extracts from two comments to this article that came in overnight:
Phil it is one thing to not report improvements and wait for the assessor to catch up with you, but it is entirely different to not report 2 homes, a big garage and a spa on the property at all. A caller to Shannyn's show yesterday whose brother lives across the lake from this property is the one who told how many buildings were on the property. The Mat-Su website will share with you the "rights & reposnsibilities" of the homeowner and it acknowledges that relies on accurate information from the homeowner. http://www.matsugov.us/finance/index.php/appeal-process/taxes-and-value Then of course there is always this: (a) A person receiving an assessment notice shall advise the assessor of errors or omissions in the assessment of the person's property. The assessor may correct errors or omissions in the roll before the board of equalization hearing. http://touchngo.com/lglcntr/akstats/STATUTES/Title29/Chapter45/Section180.htm We aren't talking about missing an improvement here, we are talking about not reporting anything at all.and:
the absence of a legal duty to report improvements when made is quite different than, say, entering a value of "zero" for those improvements or failing to correct an assessment that obviously does not comport with a property's "full and true value as of January 1 of the assessment year" under AS 29.45.110(a). Under Alaska law it is very clear that it is the mandatory burden of the person receiving an assessment notice with errors or omissions to so advise the assessor. AS 29.45.180(a).
At this point, it appears that if the Palins failed to identify that these large-scale improvements had been made (we don't know yet whether or not they did), they are in violation of state law.
It is obvious, though, looking at the photos of the property and the improvements to it the Palins may have failed to report to the Borough, it is seriously under-valued. The assessment on that property should probably be more in the $1,200.00 range than the $95.00 range, per year.
Here's a screen shot of the Mat-Su Borough assessment of the parcel upon which the extensive improvements have been made (click to enlarge):