April 3, 2006 – Although Gov. Charles Turnbull hasn't set a date when 2004 commercial property taxes will be due, those bills are going out this week.
Tax Assessor Roy Martin said the tax bills are sent out at the 1998 level and do not reflect any recent changes in value.
Martin said commercial property values will be changed after the local government gets approval from U.S. District Court for its new commercial property appraisal system.
"All commercial properties in the territory have already been reassessed and we expect the court to approve new values soon," he said.
Martin said he didn't know whether the government had requested the approval yet.
He said he expects the new values to be reflected in the 2005 commercial property tax bills, which will go out next year.
In 2000, U.S. District Court Judge Thomas K. Moore ruled that the local government was incorrectly assessing commercial properties. He ordered the government to begin assessing real estate based on market value rather than replacement cost and to tax all properties at the same rate regardless of whether they were used for residential or commercial purposes. This necessitated the re-evaluation currently in process.
Martin said that it was not unusual to send out property tax bills without a due date. He said the same thing happened with the 2004 residential property tax bills.
Tax bills are payable to the Finance Department, not the Tax Assessor's Office.