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By Jeff Landfield
In May I received a letter from the Property Appraisal Division of the Municipality of Anchorage (MOA) regarding my residential property tax exemption. The letter said I needed to contact them. When I called, I was told that during an audit they had noticed that my 2017 Permanent Fund Dividend (PFD) application (which is for calendar year 2016) showed a Sydney, Australia address. I explained that I had been traveling around Australia for the majority of 2017. I was told that because of this I would lose my residential property tax exemption for 2017 because I was not living in my home for 185 days in 2017.
I felt this was unfair, but what really struck me was that the Property Appraisal Division of the MOA had access to my PFD application. I called back to ask about this. The woman I spoke with said she was not sure how they had access. She added they have had access to PFD application information for as long as she could remember. They seem to use the access to check if people claiming the residential property tax exemption are living in the home they are claiming the exemption for.
Shortly after I spoke with the MOA I received this letter, confirming they had access to my PFD application.