Editor’s Note: The following was written to the Homer City Council and submitted for publication.
e are writing to express our concern regarding the Homer Natural Gas Line and the manner of assessing condominium properties.
The benefits of this improvement to Homer and the surrounding area are understood and accepted. However the method of assessing condominium properties is illogical and places an unfair cost burden on condominiums. We are very concerned about how the financing of the gas line will affect our condominium associations and their owners.
It is our understanding that each lot/parcel that is covered under the resolution passed by the Homer City Council will be assessed an amount of approximately $3,200 for the gas line. In the case of condominium associations each condominium owner will be assessed as if they are an individual property owner even though the condominium association building is on one lot just like an apartment building.
In this case, a 12-unit condominium, even though it is one building, will be assessed as 12 separate buildings on 12 separate lots. Instead of a $3,200 assessment the condominium building will be assessed $38,400.
Other multi-unit buildings such as a 12-unit apartment building or single lots owned by multiple owners would only be assessed $3,200. We feel that this is unfair and is placing an inordinate burden of financing the natural gas line on condominium associations.
We believe that there are alternative forms of assessment that should be considered for the natural gas line:
• Consider the condominium lot as you would any other lot owned by multiple owners or which has multi-unit buildings, such as apartments. In this case, the assessment would be fair as everyone is paying according to the same criteria.
• Assess the condominium association corporation. Since a condominium association is a non-profit corporation with the owners being the members of the corporation, it could be assessed just as any other non-profit organization is assessed. This corporation is a legal entity and has all the powers of any other non-profit corporation including the requirement to pay taxes and assessments. It also has the power to levy special assessments against the condominium owners.
• Assess each lot according to the size of the lot. Although it may require more staff time to implement, this option is actually more equitable as owners are paying according to some of the same criteria that they are subject to when being assessed on the amount of land that they own.
We would appreciate your consideration of our concerns and hope that you will work with us to address these concerns in a positive manner.
Amy Springer is president of the Interlude Condominium Association.
Margarida Kondak is treasurer and secretary of the High Tide Condominium Association.
David Duke is president of the Baywatch Condominium Association.