NEWS: New Concerns Raised about Governor’s Appointee

Rep. Andrew Josephson

Non-Alaskan Assessment Review Board appointee owes corporate taxes

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 13, 2014 

JUNEAU – Today, Representative Andy Josephson (D-Anchorage) released a report showing a business owned by Dennis Mandell, one of the governor’s appointees to Alaska’s State Assessment Review Board which sets the property tax value for the Trans-Alaska Pipeline, has had its business license suspended in California for five years for failing to pay taxes.

“These revelations are particularly troubling as Mr. Mandell’s job would be to ensure Alaska municipalities get their fair share of property taxes from TAPS, yet he appears to disregard his own corporate taxes,” said Josephson.   “He’s not an Alaskan, as required by law, he has close ties to the industry he would be assessing, and now this? The governor needs to reconsider this highly questionable appointment.” 

The report shows that, in 2009, the California Franchise Tax Board suspended the license of Mako Strategies Inc., a financial consultancy company founded by Mandell and where he is currently managing director, for failure to pay state corporate income taxes. According to the CFTB, that suspension is still in effect.

The concerns about Mako Strategies, Inc.’s failure to pay its taxes are in addition to recent objections to Mandell’s California residency and his history of working for the oil industry in disputes against Alaska. The oil industry pays property taxes based on assessments by the State Assessment Review Board.

Mandell’s resume indicates he lives in California and worked for the oil industry against the State of Alaska on the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System tariff dispute and a settlement with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and the State of Alaska involving hundreds of millions of dollars. He also worked on ARCO’s behalf in billion dollar settlements with the IRS and the State of Alaska.

“Firing the assessor who stood up for Alaskans and replacing him with someone who doesn’t live here, doesn’t pay his taxes, and has a history of working against Alaska on behalf of the oil industry just doesn’t inspire confidence that the state is working in Alaska’s best interest,” said Josephson.

Legislative Research Services report: http://akhouse.org/docs/031214_research-brief.pdf

Mako Strategies’ ARCO work: http://akhouse.org/docs/031214_Mako-Strategies.pdf

Mr. Mandell resume: http://akhouse.org/docs/031214_Assessment-Review_Mandell.pdf

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