It was a few weeks ago, and it was a day like most days. I was having my first cup of coffee, settling in at my desk, and my eye landed on a stack of mail. On top of the stack was an envelope, and on the envelope was my name, hand written. I didn't see a return address in the corner, so I flipped the envelope over to see who had sent it. Nothing. Two stamps, and a Juneau, Alaska postmark. That was it.
To fully appreciate the contents of the envelope we'll need to wind the clock back to 2006. Sarah Palin is running for governor of the state of Alaska. She's running against former governor Tony Knowles, a Democrat. The DNC, unlike John McCain or the Republican party, decided that it would be to their advantage to vet this unknown Republican candidate for governor. When the McCain campaign "vetted" Palin they ended up with a couple Google articles, and a YouTube video. When the Democrats were finished with her, they had a 63-page document. There were lots of interesting things in the document, including this.
Pg. 48/63 Palin Declined to Appear in Ads for A Candidate Because He Had Not Paid His Property Taxes.
In 2004, it came to light that Republican Rep. Vic Kohring owed the borough $2,277 in unpaid property taxes on property he owns off Knik-Goose Bay Road, according to borough records. "That bothered former Wasilla Mayor Sarah Palin enough that she declined a campaign request to do a pro-Kohring TV commercial. As a former mayor, Palin said, it made her uncomfortable to back someone with unpaid taxes when the city relies on property taxes." [Anchorage Daily News (Alaska), 10/28/04]
It was things like this that really made Sarah Palin stand out as a gubernatorial candidate. Republicans in the state were sick of the corruption that was running rampant in their own party, and they wanted change. They wanted a "fresh face" who had new ideas and ethical standards. They wanted someone who was actually bothered by a public official who would cheat his community by passing his personal tax burden on to others.
Recently, Sarah Palin gave an interview to Bill O'Reilly and said her favorite vacation spot was "The middle of nowhere at our cabin in Petersville," Alaska.
And now we get to the envelope. Inside was an unsigned letter which read:
Todd and Sarah are now millionaires, but they shirk their responsibility to pay local property taxes.
Attached are printed copies of Matanuska-Susitna Borough tax assessments from the public website (address shown at the bottom) regarding two lake frontage properties the Palins own in the Petersville Hills. Safari Lake is a gorgeous location, with stunning views of Mt. McKinley and the surrounding terrain.
Please note that two parcels total almost 20 acres and are assessed for a total value of $30,000. Also, there is a $0 value regarding any buildings on the property.
Any photos or visual inspection of the properties would clearly reveal that there are two large "cabins" on the property that are well built, and include thousands of dollars worth of improvements and amenities. The buildings are clearly nicer than many people's homes.
Also on the property is a large shop for snowmachines and four-wheelers.
These buildings have been on the property for years now - yet the Palins have done nothing to correct the assessment.
The letter was followed by two copies of Matanuska-Susitna Borough tax assessments for the parcels of land in question showing records for the years 2007, 2008, and 2009. You can see the documents online HERE and HERE.
This photo, recently obtained by themudflats.net, shows one of the buildings on the property. It was taken about two years ago.
There was another reference to property taxes in that vetting document from 2006. It talked about an inner struggle Palin had with whether or not to support a property tax cap. She talked to the Anchorage Daily News.
Maybe Palin finally figured out how to solve her dilemma of indecision - pay the taxes on the land, but cap the taxes on improvements at zero. Brilliant!
Pg. 15/63 Palin Called Herself "Such a Weasel" For Not Having a Firm Stand on the Property Tax Cap.
Palin said she has declined requests by Tax Cap Yes to speak in favor of the initiative. Yet, she said, she doesn't object to her name continuing to be listed on the group's Web site among 10 current or former government officials -- half from Mat-Su -- in support of the initiative. Palin acknowledged that she was sounding quite the politician. 'I am so sorry I'm such a weasel,' she said."
[Anchorage Daily News, 10/8/00]