Anchorage Assembly joins school district with proposed taxes to provide child care to fill up empty schools

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By DAVID BOYLE

The Anchorage Assembly is about to tax marijuana users and property owners to pay for childcare and pre-K. It has teamed up with the Anchorage School District to levy the taxes for an unproven pre-kindergarten initiative.

Assembly members Suzanne LaFrance and Kameron Perez-Verdia are sponsoring AO 2022-17(S), which they want to be on the April, 2023 ballot.  They cannot do this on their own—they need taxpayers to vote to approve/disapprove a change to the charter so they can push their social agenda.    

Does this push for “free” early education help our children?  Are there data to back this up?  These two Assembly members cite little research to support their position.  

Alabama has had the best pre-kindergarten system for 13 years, according to National Institute for Early Education Research.

Unfortunately, that investment in high quality has not seemed to pay off in NAEP scores. Over the last 13 years, Alabama has fallen from 47th to 50th in low-income NAEP 4th grade reading scores. Alaska is the only state that scores lower.

They also mention the current economic “crisis” that the Assembly caused by closing businesses and shuttering daycare centers.

They cite the current struggle that families have in feeding their kids and paying bills, not acknowledging this is due to the Assembly shutting down so many businesses for almost two years during the Covid-19 fiasco.

And are families suffering because the federal government has pumped tons of money into the economy, causing rampant inflation?   

The Anchorage Assembly is about to push this daycare and pre-k despite the lack of proof that children would be more ready for kindergarten. 

The Assembly wants to tax marijuana users and property taxpayers for this childcare and pre-K, following Rahm Emmanuel’s quote, “Never let a crisis go to waste.”

The two Assembly members stated they have support from “members across the political spectrum.” However, no mention was made of who they are. The support comes from a coalition of the marijuana industry, educators, non-profits, and businesses.  

The marijuana industry supports this charter change because it is gifted by a freeze on its retail tax of 5% for 5 years.  And the charter change also lowers the maximum tax to 10%.

Here’s the kicker. The marijuana tax will be removed from under the tax cap.  It will be replaced by an increase in property taxes. By removing this marijuana tax from the tax cap, they can raise your property taxes without busting the tax cap.  

But wait — there’s more!  The charter amendment also states that funds from the alcohol tax will also be used to fund this program.

But no worry.  Per the charter amendment, “It will cost less than a latte once a month for a year…”.  

Taxpayers can testify on AO 2022-17(S) on Tuesday, Dec. 6 at the Anchorage Assembly meeting, which starts at 5 pm.  A link to the charter amendment is here.

It’s your money and your latte.

David Boyle is the education writer for Must Read Alaska.

73 COMMENTS

  1. Hahahaha, tax the people for not filling the schools. Is there anything more inept and stupid than a group of democrats? I guess we aren’t paying enough in property tax yet, Cripes.
    As the taxes increase the population will continue to decrease. One begets the other. Please, Jesus come back soon.

    • Not until the last person heard the gospel having opportunity to recieve salvation- bible says. Then the curtain falls and the finale begins. Its going to be a showdown to die for including meteors – bible says.

  2. All about money and control, not education. A travesty that any parent would fall for such shenanigans or feel forced to participate due to economic duress. Voters are stuck with Perez-Verdia for the next couple years but have the opportunity to replace LaFrance in April.

    • Let’s work to defeat Suzanne LaFrance in the April election *AND* this inane attempt to jack up property taxes even more. Anchorage property tax payers no longer have the luxury of being complacent!

      • Property Owners are the key. Voting as a united block can hold back property tax increases. Property Owners and families are in position to stop added distribution of city funds from increased property taxes. Many renters and transients in time do find increased property taxes a burden.
        An initiative to balance our municipal budget is a city sales tax. Property owners would not be selectively affected. Daily visitors from the Valley and tourists from out of town would meaningfully contribute.

  3. I deeply resent the Marxist push to tax us all even more, and indoctrinate younger and younger children. The stupidity of leftists is beyond bounds already, and it grows more and more bloated on a daily basis.

    • Oh gawsh – can’t we responsible taxpayers just have a break from these months/years of political horror? BOHICA! Snort! Some commenter on another article suggested we should be out there talking to others and defending our position as conservatives. How do we convince the brain dead and doped up looters with their hands out?

  4. If this makes it to the ballot, the stupid people of Anchorage will just say yes.
    They are just too stupid to see the whole picture as the Assembly rips our city apart, one Tuesday at a time… soon we will have no rights at all

  5. Oh, I can’t wait for the chorus of “….FOR THE CHILDREN!!”
    Did anyone actually expect our assembly to say “No” to an opportunity to expand and tax??
    It is apparent that in a very long line of ASD priorities, the actual education of the children ranks somewhere in the far distance….yet their parents are expected to bail out the district again. Also so much for “closing schools to save money”. Repurposing schools saves nothing, as operating and maintenance costs continue uninterrupted.

    • Are “they” still parking a dozen school buses outside the Performing Arts Center with their engines running for two hours for “field trips.”? I wrote a letter back in the 80s in response to a primitive “drive” to save costs and protect the environment. I received a condescending response from a local politician – “it’s all about the kids.” That was many years ago – not now, while fuel prices are likely double now from what they were then. It’s 2022, and the beat goes on. HaHa. The ASD needs to manage and not treat our tax dollars as an unlimited source of frivolous income.

      I will need a new hot water heater in the next year or so. Maybe I should whine to the ASD to pay for it – Snort!

  6. Pleasantly, children are working a couple of grade levels above their grade in private Christian educational coops.

  7. All about killing the unborn. If that doesn’t “trans”spire. They need to drive a wedge between the“birther”/non birther and the pray as soon as possible.

  8. There’s a shortage of teachers and daycare workers. Is this so more people can just sit at home while someone else is raising their kids?

    • Probably because many fail a background check and the employees newly hired quit working cause they easily tired of working. I think its about prolonging some peoples jobs. The teachers, staff, and janitors, they have been reliable employees showing up to work completing tasks to the best of abilities. As well as the union will collect less dues. Layedoff ASD Workers won’t be unemployed long when anchorage and alaska employers faces a labor shortage of willing workers people who want to work. Pray the city has courage to do the responsible action with the affected employees has courage to face a new life away from asd.

  9. Testify if you want. But! As long as the testifiers since 2020 are also turning over their neighborhood councils being involved with them. Many testifiers since if not by today they should be council members because they spoke well enough to be understood and have enough education to sit as their neighborhood’s council. That’s where direction changes start-but one should expect to serve as council member for as long as allowed. Pray the testifiers tomorrow practice self control, peace, and hospitality to not piss off the leaders lafrance refers concocted and approved nor piss off the democrat and bicoalition
    voters needed to approve their property taxes increases cause not all of them are lucky to have Escrow like my family to pay our anchorage property tax.
    Be un wise for democrat voters to see their pt risen for this cause. Save it for a better crisis.

    • The blithering, sniveling testifiers are paid props, in my humble opinion. Who in their right mind agrees to be taxed out of their homes to pay, pay, pay, for the incompetence or, (dare I say, malfeasance) of these “elected” officials. The school board needs to go, and the ASD administration with it!

      Vote NO on school bonds.

      • Most taxpayers don’t vote because they don’t care. I say tax the crap out of us and maybe people will get involved when it affects their cash flow. We can’t win elections with the lefts lying and steeling so maybe being broke will get people to get involved.

    • It certainly is in these days. I remember and treasure my High School days at West High in the early 60s. Advanced Algebra, Geometry, Chemistry, Biology, Latin II (believe it or not), New Math functions, English Literature, World History, etc. And I remember my beloved teachers. It’s a shame we are paying through the nose for the BS the children are getting now.

      • I graduated from ASD Schools in 2008 and I took many of the same courses you did in the 60’s Sassy Senior.

        I took Algebra II (today’s advanced algebra) geometry, chemistry, biology, English Lit and English language. I never took Latin, but that was offered as an elective.

        Please tell me what subjects that are being taught in high schools in Anchorage that are so offensive to you?

          • So you don’t have an answer, you are just looking for something to be mad about.

            Get outside and enjoy this snow, I know I am

            There are more important things to worry about than what you think is going on inside of the classrooms of schools you haven’t been in in 50 or more years

        • Bruh, you comparing todays woke culture to 2008? That was almost 15 years ago. That’s before “equity” before “critical race theory” and before trannies doing library story hour. Also before the DOJ and NEA started labeling us “domestic terrorists”. You know, all us crazy parents who are concerned about the radical sexualization and self hate indoctrination of our children. But yeah, keep picking on sassy senior, you really got her, good job Paul.

          • Hate to tell you this Floyd, but CRT is not taught at all in any classroom in the state of Alaska. If you know of it being taught please let me know where so I can complain with the rest of you.

            We were talking about reparations and equity and discussing the whole stolen land idea back then. That is not a new concept.

            Kids dressed sexually and there were trans kids in my school. The Loussac Library had been hosting drag queen story time for years prior to 2008.

            Kids have been self hating and self harming forever! Just because it is in the public light now more than ever does not mean that it just started in the last couple years.

            My name is Pablo, not Paul. Ya, 2008 was 15 years ago, but Sassy Senior was talking about the 1960’s. That’s 60 years ago. Kinda think that my experiences in the last 15 years are a little more current than 60 years ago.

          • Pablo, I see no “reply” venue to your last comment. Hey, you work your *ss off for 45 years, lose your spouse to cancer, manage your finances, pay your taxes, donate to those in need and try your best to live responsibly. Come back in 30 years and try to tell me my life for the past 60 years is irrelevant because it isn’t “current”. Have a nice day sweetie pie. I won’t be here.

  10. I say leave Anchorage to the few who think central planning and oppression create utopia let them have what they have built and at the cost it takes to operate it it’s what they want like the movie the giver or hunger games its sad to watch such the demise of such a great city

    • Agree. So sad to see this beautiful city decline as it has for the past several years. Folks out there are rising up in numbers, but they are silenced by the mob of despicable politicians and the despicable media who carry their water.

  11. “They cite the current struggle that families have in feeding their kids and paying bills…” Gee, could that be the result of politicians like them – on a national scale (Uncle Mumbles and crew) – causing the inflation? These same politicians are all about stroking the ASD/NEA even though 51% of our property taxes are already funneled directly to them. Remember the old bumper sticker: “If you think education is expensive, try ignorance.” We now have both. To whom it applies: “Thanks so much for not voting”.

    • NO on school bonds (or any other bond issues, for that matter). Want to stay in your home? Pay attention right now. The City and State leaders are not performing for the taxpayers.

    • Yep, loud and proud flags (Rainbow Warriors. Apologies to University of Hawaii, who should have never caved and gave up their rightful mascot name to others.).

  12. Today’s bird brain world of useless politicians is prime time for multiple “Twilight Zone” seasons. They and their warp minded parents devoured too much LSD during the 60-70s. Taking too much dope has consequences! 😒

  13. Tax is to the hilt and just maybe the voters will get interested in who’s responsible. Thats a real good solution to money problems tax the people because we can.

    • Noop. These programs appeal to poor performers and poor performers are often renters too stupid to understand that a hike in property taxes equates to a hike in rent.

      These programs pander to the “where mah free sh*t” crowd among whom are few strategic thinkers.

    • That does not work. People just move away- voters and non voters alike. That doesn’t do what’s spoken in jeremiah 29 seek the welfare of a city where God placed you or permitted you to live

  14. Those are the flags this governmental body displays? I would never follow or obey such a corrupt and desiccated body. They only deserve mockery and scorn.

  15. There is a role for a hero or heroine to get elected to this body and then expose its corruption. Are you ready for this hero’s journey? If you are thinking about it… do it.

  16. Our kids can’t read now after 12 years of school, what makes you think a couple more years of schooling, at a younger age will make any difference in their reading ability.

  17. Hmmm(?), I’m surprised the Assembly isn’t filling up the open space within the unused schools with the homeless population. Maybe(?), even try to get them re-integrated back into a productive society, as well as, possibly learn new skills to eventually becoming productive members of the society rather than a burden.

  18. So, ASD wants all the 4 year kids in daycare to switch over to the public schools so they can boost their numbers and get more money?

    And property owners should foot the bill because we have jobs and can pay our bills?

    We should pay for our fellow residents’ day care AND debt relief for their college tuition ?

    Does the fun never end?

    May God have mercy on these crooked persons who believe they have a right to play with other peoples’ lives and money.

  19. My 4 were in Federal Head Start. Glorified baby sitting, 4 hrs a day (w/ rt bus service)
    Pretty sure the ‘teachers’ were not union, pay was about $12/hr back in 1997-2004.
    Some made more if they got an Associate Degree from UAA.

    It was Cook Inlet Head Start (still around) and pretty much every employee from the cook & janitor up to the head Director was AK Native.
    We were slightly above the Fed poverty income for Headstart, but recruited anyway to fill up seats.

    I liked it because it was only 4 hrs (included the bus time) and the kids got to be around Native people that were productive & went to work everyday, as opposed to all the degenerates crowding the corners in ANC.

    My question: will the new ASD babysitters be required to have education degrees?
    Federal Headstart does not require that.
    Will they be in the teachers union? Headstart is not unionized.

    Are we going to have college degree, high paid, unionized babysitters at the ASD?
    Is ANC now going to turn ordinary daycare into more overpaid, unionized, ‘public servants’ that vote for the communists overlords put on the assembly by our Public Unions?

    This s!*t is sad.

  20. People are having fewer babies now …we are headed for a population crash…but hey…for the kids right? I give it 20 years before we start seeing a significant drop in the human race.

  21. You as an anchorage taxpayer are damn lucky to have a writer like David Boyle in our corner to carefully peel back the layers of the onion and explain just exactly how you are getting hosed by the tyrannical assembly.

    Mr. Boyle keeps the Assembly front and center relative to the precious commodity of our children and their education challenges created by the Assembly and the ruling heads at ASD.

    Thanks to Mr. Boyle

  22. Why not take the homeless out of the Sullivan Arena, put them in one of these schools (in Zalatel’s district), and start earning revenue with the arena again instead of losing more money on it?
    Because government doesn’t care about losing money. It’s their stock-in-trade. It’s what they do. They just take.

  23. There is plenty of evidence that pre-school up front investment better educates children .Tom Begich has documented the benefits of pre-school. The question is this a State responsibility, or a local responsibility?

    • Neither. It is daycare in most cases. And Tom Begich is hardly a good source of information. I believe there are real studies as mentioned in the article. But the parents will be encouraged to smoke more dope, “ it’s for the children “. Grand idea. Party on, assembly.

  24. How about this for an idea? We leave child care to private businesses and we lower taxes so people can afford it!
    To a democrat, OPM (other people’s money) is an inexhaustible resource from which they can feed forever. Never do they give any consideration as to who they are taking the money from.
    One final note. Do you now see why we can not have our full PFD?

  25. One final, final note.
    If you do not pay taxes, you should not be allowed to vote on tax-related issues.
    This idea uses the same logic that an Anchorage voter can not vote for a Palmer Mayor.

    • Agree!!!!!! But, but, but – It’s a constitutional right to vote. I don’t believe a taxpayer should be forced by law to provide for those who are looting the “system”. That statement includes politicians as well. I don’t think fairness will be sorted out in my lifetime, though. BOHICA!

  26. Fortunately for the Assembly, MANY ANCHORAGE VOTERS DO NOT OWN PROPERTY. Raising PROPERTY TAXES ONLY DIRECTLY AFFECT OWNERS.
    When the adjusted tax bills are sent to owners, tenants may not see rent increases to cover tax increases for months or years. Owners in their property are hit over the head immediately.
    Many Anchorage new residents are not property owners, but are proud to be voters …. Their voices are being heard. Look at past Assembly elections.
    PROPERTY OWNERS WAKE UP…. Bring neighbors to your local community council meetings. Resolutions from a community council carry far more weight with the Assembly than an individual testifying.

    • You stated above that raising property taxes only affects the owners, …”You forget, the renters pay the taxes in their rents. The apartment and home onwers pass the taxes to the increased rents. AND YES we do pay taxes.

      • But most renters have no clue. And most homeowners don’t get a bill either, and it is spread out over the year in the house payment. Then, someday, when they retire, they don’t really own their house. My tax payment is more than my original house payment. If you don’t have a large retirement, the city ends up owning your property when you pass, unless you sell it and finish your life in a tent. Because even the elderly need to eat. So, mortgage the heck out your payed off house while you can qualify for a loan then at least you may benefit from the 30 years of payments. Because when you are no longer able to work, the taxes continue to increase.

  27. Wait a second.
    Didn’t the school district bail out the teamsters union pension just recently? Perhaps they should use those funds to pay for… wait for it… education instead of helping out union members who do not even work for the schools.

  28. How much will the people of anchorage take before they take action and pull there kids out of those schools and sell there homes and move to the valley (conservatives only please) where we are 95% conservative any time in history there is mass migration the people are fleeing an oppressive governmental body there not running from there family, jobs or culture this mass migration away from the city of anchorage is the only thing they will listen to this is why they have never allowed the bridge to be built they know that long drive keeps the oppressed citizens of Anchorage under there grip they understand the psychology of change that people simply wont change until the fear or oppression outweighs the change itself this is how little they think of you the citizen of anchorage but what they fail to realize is the land mass of the valley is far greater and the economic development is massive and will soon suck the economic life out of anchorage the people that are running anchorage have unwittingly them selfs put the nails in the coffin and every oppressive tax and every policy designed to wash the sovereignty of the citizen away will only bring more nails and a heavier hammer I say leave Anchorage to the few who think central planning and oppression create utopia let them have what they have built and at the cost it takes to operate it it’s what they want like the movie the giver or hunger games its sad to watch such the demise of such a great city

    • Those are some great opinions, Kgak, but you might want to work on your abominable grammar and utterly absent punctuation, if you want to encourage people to read them.

      • Not everybody is as good as you. Khaki might be smarter than you but not in grammar. The points were made and understood.

  29. Hey, here’s a novel idea: Why don’t the parents pay for their own kids’ school, sports, extra-curricular activities, meals, health care, etc.

    Judging by the kids’ terrible test scores, it doesn’t look we’re accomplishing much and there’s little hope that the kids will be our future doctors, engineers, etc.

    Call it what it is – babysitting. No reason why I should pay your babysitting costs.

  30. Just socialists doing socialist things. If only the School District was run on a business model. When socialists are running the school board, there is nothing so precious as the State, or in this case the School District. Not even students and children are so precious.

    • I shudder to think! What would be their credentials, background, and hiring standards to manage “prekindergarten” babysitters. People just keep pumping their babies out, regardless of their moral standards, and turning them over to the ASD to raise? On the taxpayers’s dime? Gimme a break!

      • And my upbringing taught me that good men kept their schlongs holstered, and good women kept their legs together until their wedding night. Wouldn’t be a bad idea in these times. My marriage lasted for 41 years until my husband died 17 years ago this week. He’s spinnng in his grave,

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