When Anchorage Mayor Ethan Berkowitz declared a state of civil emergency because of State budget cuts, Anchorage residents were mystified: What did he intend to do?
The answer has become clear:
Raise taxes in Anchorage. Section 14 of the Municipal cCode says he can exceed the tax cap if there’s a civil emergency and if he has 8 votes on the Anchorage Assembly. He has 9 votes.
There’s no limit to how much he can raise those taxes.
On Friday, the Assembly will meet at 11:30 am to discuss ratifying Berkowitz’ civil emergency for up to 60 days. After that, the Assembly can continue the emergency so long as there are the 8 votes. That’s under Section 10 of the Municipal Code.
Berkowitz was torqued when in April, voters turned down Proposition 9, his proposal to tax alcohol 5 percent in order to pay for more homeless services, including the building of more shelters for the city’s unsheltered.
“This isn’t leadership. He wants people to riot over all these issues. But these issues existed before the State budget was cut,” said Rebecca Logan, who ran against Berkowitz in 2017. “They were already happening because of his lack of leadership. The thought of reducing the municipal budget to accommodate the reduction in state budget never crossed his mind. This is a money grab.”
Read the earlier story here: