Anchorage budget: 14.5 % increase since 2014 - Must Read Alaska
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Wednesday, July 8, 2020
HomeThe 907Anchorage budget: 14.5 % increase since 2014

Anchorage budget: 14.5 % increase since 2014

The Anchorage Assembly has passed yet again the largest budget in the city’s history. At $540 million, it’s 14.5 percent more than the budget approved under previous Mayor Dan Sullivan back in 2014.

Every year of the Berkowitz Administration has seen record-setting budgets for Alaska’s largest city.

In that same time, the city’s population has declined by 7,000 people and the commercial vacancy rate has reached the highest level ever measured — 15 percent vacancy for Class A office space.

The budget was approved by all members of the Assembly on Tuesday and includes $735,000 for 150 shelter beds for homeless people for the next 12 months — through the summer months, as well as winter. Of that amount, some $290,000 would come from the sale of Municipal Light & Power to Chugach Electric Association.

There will also be an additional four officers added to the Anchorage Police Department.

A homeowner with a $350,000 valuation will pay an additional $20 next year in property taxes.

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Suzanne Downing had careers in business and journalism before serving as the Director of Faith and Community-based Initiatives for Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and returning to Alaska to serve as speechwriter for Gov. Sean Parnell. Born on the Oregon coast, she moved to Alaska in 1969.

Latest comments

  • It’s for the people!

  • So more people have left and ones that are staying are making less or are homeless. $20 a year increase in homeowner taxes is about 1/4 of a drop in the bucket so I don’t see any complaints coming from that.

    • Greg,
      A flood starts with 1/4 of one drop.

  • Families cannot pay abusive property taxes and then support local restaurants. Mayor, you are crushing this town.

    Ross Bieling

  • It is long way from Anchorage to Venezuela but the Mayor and Assembly are going to make sure that the march continues and accelerates. Forward, comrades!

  • It’s an oversimplification to assume budget increases are signs of growing government. Every budget has fixed and market-based growth factors that increase despite a flat year-to-year overall spending trajectory. For example: wages, professional services like audits, legal and engineering; materials; etc… 14.5% over 11 years is about 2.9% a year, which really isn’t bad in any sector. If you don’t grow your budget to account for inflationary factors then your government eventually shrinks to nothing. In other words, a dollar today is more than a dollar next year and as such the service it buys is truncated by the same amount if you don’t compensate for the inflationary loss.

    • Typical leftist justification to spend ever more of other peoples’ money, not to mention living/spending above your means. I’ll bet “B” is a public employee or derivative thereof.

  • My house taxes have increased from $900 in 2006 to $3600 in 2019.
    Same house built in 1953.
    This is out of control
    Water $55 in 2006
    Water now $106 2019 a month.
    Just got a gas bill $110 and it not cold yet.

  • Yeah I take back what I said. You are getting screwed.

  • And we are on the way to the most homicide deaths of and any year on record. The Mayor and Assembly seem to think that more police equates to a safer Anchorage. Although I agree that public safety is paramount so is a place where business can be done and buildings can be built. The new Title 21 is causing flight to the Valley. The business personal property tax is causing less and less inventory in Anchorage driving people to the internet or valley warehousing. Both are not acceptable. Business personal property tax should be replaced with a seasonal property tax which people have wanted for years. Why not? A lazy Administration and Assembly.

    • Tom,
      The more citizens and businesses that leave Anchorage, the worse it will be for those that remain. There will be an ever growing “budget” and less tax base to pay for it. Also, I think once businesses that leave Anchorage and find a more moderate business environment with a business friendly attitude and less burdensome taxes/controls, they will never move back to Anchorage. A couple years more of citizen/business loss coupled with paying for the steadily increasing liberal burden by remaining citizens and businesses, and Anchorage will become unbearable to many. Then the real show will begin. Democrats are real people, just like anyone else. Except for their “vision” of what Alaska and America should be. Then, ‘enough (control/power) is never enough’. More socialist programs sprout like weeds and will continue to do so, spending other peoples’ money. The only way to fix it is to vote. If Alaskans refuse to vote, we might as well throw in the towel.

  • Yes and the first thing the mayor did was to give the city employees a big raise. Can’t plow the streets can’t investigate crime can’t stop red light runners but sure can spend the money. Everyone better get out and vote before we become another west coast lib town out of control.

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