By DAN FAGAN
Anchorage homeowners pay a heavy price for living in Alaska’s largest city. Proposition 14, currently on the April 4 ballot, will hurt property owner’s bottom line even more.
The current average price of a single-family home in Anchorage is $456,000, a new high. The pricey cost of housing makes it virtually prohibitive for a young couple to settle in Anchorage and start a family.
Proposition 14, dubbed the “Care for Kids” initiative, will raise taxes on property owners another $6 million a year. That’s an extra $6 million transferred out of the anemic private sector and into an ever-ballooning city budget.
Prop 14 will move money collected from the marijuana tax, which passed by ballot initiative in 2016, out from under the tax cap, meaning the city will be able to tax property owners $6 million more before bumping up against the tax cap.
The Assembly just passed the largest city budget in history. Now they’ll have even more money to play with.
The language in the Prop 14 ballot conveniently — and deceptively — does not mention moving the marijuana tax out from under the tax cap. Voters will have no idea they are supporting millions in new taxes if they vote yes on Prop 14.
A widely distributed flyer promoting Prop 14 reads: “Proposition dedicates the existing marijuana tax revenue to fund child care and early education, and build a strong economy.”
The impression is voting yes on Prop 14 only redistributes funds. But it sweeps this tax out from under the tax cap and therefore allows the Assembly to raise taxes.
Anchorage property taxes are already high. Compare them to property taxes in all U.S. counties, and Anchorage homeowners pay more than people living in 3,040 others.
Anchorage property owners are so overburdened, the city’s property tax rate ranks 103rd highest among all 3,143 counties.
You won’t read that in the Anchorage Daily News.
Compare Anchorage property tax rates with similarly populated cities like Boise, Idaho, Aurora, Colorado, and Mesa, Arizona, and the over taxation becomes even more glaring. Anchorage homeowners’ yearly property tax bills are double of those living in those cities.
Anchorage property tax rates for a medium-priced home is higher than 42 of America’s largest cities. Only homeowners in the Democrat-run cities of Seattle, Chicago, Hartford, Austin, Boston, San Francisco, San Jose, and New York pay more in city property taxes than those living in Anchorage.
You won’t see that reported on KTUU.
Proposition 14 will not only soak homeowners, but it also means more bureaucracy, as the initiative creates an “Accountability Board of Child Care and Early Education.”
Many would argue now is not the time to transfer millions more out of the private sector into government, especially in Alaska’s largest city, a city that often drives the state’s economy.
Anchorage city leaders are always coming up with new ways to get around the tax cap.
Former Mayors Mark Begich and Ethan Berkowitz, both Democrats, successfully found end runs around the tax cap.
Now the insatiable government-centric types are using a ballot initiative to raise taxes in Anchorage with the pitch of doing it “all for children. “
They’re disguising the tax hike as a redistributing of funds. They do so with the cooperation and blessing of the liberal media.
Dan Fagan is a reporter for Must Read Alaska. Email [email protected].
Please vote “NO” on all of the spending propositions. The city gets plenty of money – even in a recession.
The Mayor and Assembly simply need to do their jobs efficiently. There is no need to put a service on a 30 year mortgage.
We always do vote no! Funny thing, they almost always pass! By a narrow margin of corse. Another oddity is that even working in a packed cafe there was never a single individual who said, I voted yes. WIERD
The assembly acts like a spoiled teenager with their parents’ American Express Black card. Along with the money laundering, fraud and racketeering, they have no concept of earning a living in the private sector.
Glad I don’t live in anchorage! Jody
Thank you, Dan, for the simple clarification. It is written to sound like “it’s for the children,” as many proposals to spend money are. So deceptive.
I’ll be voting no on this one in particular. They can put user fee for people who have kids in the school district to raise the money they want. Sick of “it’s for the kids”.
It’ll pass. Mostly by the votes of people who don’t pay properly tax.
Anchorage. The Detroit of this century. A mix of an urban wasteland and a drag/trans/homeless utopia.
Thank you, Dan. I miss your morning show, BTW.
The Flyer I received on Proposition 14 is the most disengnuous piece of BS I have ever received, artificially raising the tax cap gets a big NO from me.
TANSTAAFL. Cheers –
We need to change the personal property tax for a sales tax. Not both taxes but one sales tax. This way everybody pays for government. Right now the property tax people are paying the brunt of the muni income. With a sales tax the non profits and commuters would all pay and that will make a difference at the voting booth.
Utopian dream Mark. We simply cannot expect everyone to pay their fair share when the wealthy landowners of Anchorage Muni. are doing so well. Unfortunately, both sides will shoot this one down. Also unfortunate, you are right.
We need to start a movement like the left does. Every homeowner should be behind this change as then they could own their home. One would think we could get 100,000 home owners to vote for it.
I think the only people that would shoot this down are people that want someone else to pay, but not them. So big government types and the 46% of the population that thinks the IRS should raise income taxes on someone else, because they don’t pay anything.
Homeowners have been carrying nearly all the tax burden in Anchorage for years, with a few exceptions (alcohol and cannabis come to mind, while churches and other non-profits use city services for free – to them). This is similar to how we (Palin and the legislature at the time) jacked taxes up on the oil companies (who also paid way more than their “fair share”) – see how well that worked out?
If “we” are really small government conservatives, we should be trying to shrink government, not grow it and make someone else pay. Including more people in the tax base (without increasing the amount of tax collected) is the best way to get people to vote for smaller government. If someone else is always paying the bill for your benefits, of course you don’t care…
A sales tax is the only way to make sure costs are borne by the entire population, not just property holders.
In all the time I lived in Anchorage I never tried got used to no sales tax.
Every time I see a ballot initiative or bond that loudly proclaims “it’s for the children”, it is an automatic “NO” vote for me. Playing on emotion usually means only one thing: manipulation. Don’t get me wrong there are worthy projects for bonding, but if the proponents can’t be up front, it’s a deal breaker. Until the city and especially the school district learn to budget properly and not bond for everything (and if it gets rejected somehow find the funds in the proverbial couch cushions anyway) my vote continues to be a hard “no”. It would also be nice if those bonds were tied to the specific project only and so could not get sucked up into the general fund. Coincidentally it should be pointed out that one of the ASD bonds is for “security” upgrades at Birchwood ABC amongst other schools. Wasn’t it just a few short months ago they determined to close Birchwood? Why now bond for upgrades and didn’t we have an “upgrade bond” on the last ballot too???
Agreed wholeheartedly, taxpayer!
The very moment I see “It’s for the children” claim, I am opposed unto it, as the unmitigated gall, deceit, and hubris of those who claim such a statement means anything but ‘for the children’ but rather for them themselves.
If said proponents or said actors were indeed ‘for the children’, they would themselves retire from any form of control or political stripe and allow those who indeed have the children within mind, the parents of said children, to determine their education and future, rather than allow radicalistic seekers of power over the children, such as our school board, our so called assembly, and especially our under qualified school superintendent in training to have any say, whatsoever, what is best for our children.
I shall vote no upon every single proposal to further fund ANY educational bond until they show progress and said progress shall never occur under the current power construct.
Show me the results before I show you the money.
Average home price of 456? People pay that kind of money to live in Alaska? Lol
A hearty HELL NO! From me on this and the bond issues
There’s a large number of people who read these cleverly worded initiatives year after year and vote yes without further research. This year’s lengthy ballot is evidence as to how well it works. We are in Vegas, playing against the dealer. And like Vegas, it is the pensioners who don’t always have the means to recover. What a scam. There is no shame without a conscience. The reason for the high price of homes? Unreal tax assessments designed to create more tax revenue, and a permitting process shutting down new home construction. This is why the bridge will never be built, despite the availability of Federal funding for infrastructure available. It would destroy Anchorage’s dog and pony show. Same reason for no commuter improvements to the valley whatsoever. It would make Anchorage a ghost town for residential purposes. As it is, a growing number of people who work in Anchorage are braving the long commute so as to not raise their children in this self-declared Utopia of modern ideals.
Government at all levels in our State does not suffer from an income shortage it has a out of control spending problem due to ‘bloat and mismanagement..!!Vote and get the person next to you to remember to vote as well!!
Surprise, surprise, surprise. Non property owners in Anchorage have always been really good at spending other peoples money. Watch these dolts pass every single proposition.
One should get PTSD from a ballot measure that echoes the same M.O. that Ranked Choice Voting did. Write it in such a way that nothing could possibly go wrong in exchange for your selfless, virtuous Yes vote and then… sit back and watch the gremlins crawl out of shadows. They’re coming for you. Again.
You get what you vote for or neglect to vote against.
Property tax is at least 50% to high. I pay over $900 per month for my home. Who thinks this is reasonable? Outrageous! Vote No. reduce the Muni and cut taxes in half for homeowners.
It says in the first paragraph of prop 14…
“This proposition would establish dedicated funding for child care and early education, an Accountability Board of Child Care and Early Education, dedicate the net retail marijuana sales tax revenues to this board’s budgeted activities, and move the marijuana sales taxes from under the tax increase limitation (“tax cap”) calculation to be above the tax cap and lower the tax cap one time by one million dollars in 2024.”…. (Muni.org)
Interesting that in the FAQ section of the careforkidsanchorage.com website it specifically says “Lowers the tax cap to provide protections for property tax payers.” If expected revenues to this “cause” are $6 million a year from the marijuana tax, why is the tax cap only reduced $1 million “one time?” Moreover, the way the money will be spent is not well defined. I like apple pie and motherhood, but this slope is too slippery to get my vote.
It will pass, mostly by votes of people who THINK they don’t pay property tax. There, I fixed it for you, Masked Avenger. You are welcome.
Anchorage should pass a sales tax and reduce property taxes. That way they can capture revenue from all the out of town people who come to shop and eat.
I normally wouldn’t give you two cents for LWV informational flyer, but to their credit the summary on Prop 14 includes this fourth bullet: “Move the marijuana sales taxes from under the tax increase limitation (tax cap) calculation to be above the tax cap and lower the tax cap one time by $1,000,000 in 2024;…”
This actually clarified the proposition for me, securing the appropriate negative response.
As a member of a young couple looking to buy a house, I’m happy to pay a little extra on property taxes if it comes to that in order to have a better child care system. Literally there are no licensed options for so many parents I’ve talked to. We have a 14 year old and want to have more kids, but the last person I spoke to pays $1,430 a MONTH for childcare. Let’s get more centers to open, increase wages and benefits for child care workers, and actually encourage young people to stay here and contribute to Anchorage. Ridiculous to think I might not have more children because of this hurdle. And stay at home dad/mom is not an option financially, at least not long term.
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