Bob Maier: Ballot neglects to tell voters that Proposition 14 will add about $68 in taxes to home worth $400,000

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Property taxes

By BOB MAIER

Once again, “It is all about the children.”

Proposition 14 on the April 4 Anchorage municipal ballot, which voters will see this week in the mail, proposes to amend the Municipal Charter by removing the taxation on marijuana from the tax cap calculation.

In Anchorage, the terms for the commercial sale and marketing for marijuana were approved by voters with the express promise in the ballot language that the new revenue provided by the taxation would fall under the Anchorage tax cap.

Here we are just a few years later with a proposition before us to be voted upon that will back-track on the ballot language that was approved by voters.

In 2023 the taxation on marijuana received by the Municipality will roughly be $6 million, which will reduce the burden on property taxpayer’s dollar for dollar.  If passed, Prop 14 will result in an increase of $68 in the annual property tax bill on a home with a $400,000 valuation with the removal of the $6 million from the tax cap according to numbers provided by the Municipality.  

This information is not included in the ballot language.

Make no mistake about it, despite the way it is being sold, Proposition 14 is a property tax increase.

So, just what does Prop 14 propose? The ballot language dedicates the revenue from the marijuana tax to be utilized for “Child Care and Early Education” along with creating an “Accountability Board of Child Care and Early Education.”

Do we really need to create more bureaucracy in our education system?

If Prop 14 passes, this new “Accountability Board” will surely have the need for increased revenue as their number one priority for this brand-new Anchorage Municipal program.

In 2009 voters approved the “Repair Our Tax Cap Initiative” with a 62% margin, reversing the attempt by then-Mayor Mark Begich to alter the Tax Cap calculation.  

In 2016 voters approved another “Repair Our Tax Cap Initiative” by a similar 62% vote, reversing the attempt by then-Mayor Ethan Berkowitz to alter the Tax Cap calculation.

Utilizing “Child Care and Early Education” as a Trojan horse to un-lock the voter approved provisions of our tax cap will haunt Anchorage property taxpayers. If Prop 14 is approved, you will certainly see future proposals to dilute our tax cap even further utilizing this same formula.

Let us respect the initial promise made by the Municipality of Anchorage, the one approved by voters and keep the marijuana tax inside the tax cap calculation.

Vote NO on Proposition 14.

Bob Maier is a property taxpayer residing in Anchorage.

31 COMMENTS

  1. Property taxes in Anchorage are so high that realistically, you can never own your home. Vote no on all bonds.

      • Yes really. When you pay off your home the city keeps the title so you will be forced to pay taxes so yes you never really own your home. I proposed a change years ago to have a sales tax and do away with Personal property taxes. This way all the tourists and people to come in from the bush and from the valley will help pay for the infrastructure they use on a regular basis in the city. Also all the non-voters with the prices at the register go up and wonder why and then maybe they’ll get involved in voting and stopping this madness. I didn’t see both taxes just one for the other if we give them both taxes, they’ll just run them both up because there’s never enough of taxpayers money for the government.

  2. “a few years later with a proposition before us to be voted upon that will back-track on the ballot language that was approved by voters.”
    Who or what entity proposed. this bond?
    How was it created? and by whom — The Anchorage Assembly???
    ?

  3. Residential housing is nearing a 40% renter vs 60% owner occupancy. The rise of investment property and Airbnb have shifted new ownership away from first time investors and towards existing owners. Add in commercial property and far more than half of the property taxes come from businesses and landlords and not the average citizen. Renters are overtaking owners in number, Renters do not pay property taxes, and Renters are seeing historic increases in their rental rates, along with other commodity increases, while gross income remains stagnant.

    If anyone wants greater voter investment in the lowering of property tax rates, they better be pushing for affordable housing at the same time. Otherwise renters will far overtake owners by greater and greater margins until every measure for additional public services paid for by property tax increases will be seeing a yea. Or we could move to other kinds of taxes, but how will we do that once we reach a large majority of renters? Better find a solution sooner rather than later.

    • Renters pay their landlord’s mortgage and real estate taxes. Just because they do not pay directly to the MOA or lender does not mean that they are not paying them in the end.

      If a landlord charges rent that doesn’t cover the taxes and mortgage at the least, they are a terrible manager.

      The average rent for a 1 bed 1 bath apartment in this town is close to $1000 per month. That is $12000 in rent in a year. No way is a landlord’s mortgage and taxes $12000 for the year for a 1 bed 1 bath apartment.

      • And you know this how?

        You either don’t get or choose to ignore the multitude of issues involved in renting to others. Or I suppose you are operating a mix of both.

        Become Avis. Try harder.

        • MA, I have a great job that pays my bills and keeps me housed as well as puts food on my table.

          I know multiple landlords who I have helped calculate what they should charge for rent.

          That calculation includes: the owner’s property taxes, mortgage payment, contingencies for repairs and a monthly budget for maintenance. You’ve also got to include lawn mowing/snow removal and exterior maintenance. We add all that up, and divide by 12. Then you add a little more on the top to make sure you either turn a profit, or you charge enough to help cover any major repairs that come up.

          One of the best places to start is the tax return. While that wont include the payments to the mortgage principal, it is very helpful to determining what you should charge.

          If that ain’t the calculation you are using as a landlord, you are failing as a business person.

          I’ve also helped them clean up after terrible tenants and since the second time they got a place destroyed, they make quarterly visits to each unit in each property.

          Being a landlord is not for everyone and there are quite a few slumlords in this town. I have chosen to invest my money elsewhere than in rental real estate, but that does not mean that I have not explored that type of investment.

      • You are correct that part of the money that renters pay ultimately goes towards paying the taxes of the landlord. This is however irrelevant, and misses the point. We aren’t talking about the breakdown of rent costs, we are talking about the behavior of the voter base in relation to decisions on increasing property taxes.

        Renters reliably vote for property tax increases to fund services that they believe would benefit them. Renters perceive their property tax burden as being $0. This is how renters vote. This is not going to change in the current system. You will not successfully change that perspective with an ad in the Sunday paper, or by any other mundane means. All that matters is the perceived incentives and the fact is that these perceived incentives for renters are currently to raise property taxes to fund other services that benefit them. We are nearing a point where renters are the large enough majority that they will soon make all the decisions up for voting.

        So the question is, do you make it easier for renters to stop renting and afford to be owners (getting them on your side and incentivizing lower prop taxes), or do you shift the tax burden away from owners and more onto the ever increasing body of renters (sales tax etc…)

        When the renting voters far outnumber the landlords/owners, the landlords/owners will no longer have a say in which situation happens. If they want a voice, they need to initiate one of these changes soon; otherwise the decision will be taken away from them.

        • This is why we need to end persons, personal property tax, and start a sales tax. This way everybody coming into Anchorage pays some fees to use our infrastructure. Not to taxes just one otherwise politicians will raise both and steel us more blind.

  4. Isnt it time to add Heroine and Fentanyl to the list of legal drugs so we can tax that and make more money “for the children”? If we can tax a larger spectrum of drugs to pay for daycare and ECE parents wont have to worry about staying home to care for their families. ASD will take care of all their “educational needs”(sex and gender prioritized) as soon as they are out of diapers until they are adults. That will free up more of parents time which will have a positive effect on the amount of taxes collected on Alcohol Tobacco Marijuana Heroine Fentanyl(plus whatever else the Bidens can convince the Cartels to import). It is not rocket science. The Left just has to word things properly on the ballot to get the sheep to vote and approve their agenda. Oregon is doing great now that Heroine and a long list of drugs has been decriminalized. They are doing so well I havent seen any courthouses on fire as I fly over Portland (but NEVER stop)! The conservatives east of the mountains are desperately clutching on to the hope of reshaping Oregon and becoming part of Idaho. The lefties will never let go of them. Make them suffer!

  5. So, we allow maryjane sales in Anchorage, with the intent of using the revenue to cut taxes and provide city services.
    Then a few short years later, we decide “screw that, let’s buy a luxury item instead” and stick the bill on the homeowners.
    .
    Sorry, but I do not want to pay for your child care. Bad enough I pay for the failing school system.
    .
    And, important reminder to all. READ the ballot initiative. Do not vote yes or no based on the title. It can and will impact your wallet if you trust the ads.

  6. Neglect? Naw. It’s deliberate.

    Not that it matters since most of the people who vote for it might work in a $400,000 home but will never own one.

    • And why can’t most people afford a $400,000 home?

      Could it be because wages have not kept up with inflation for the past 50 years?

      And just because people don’t own the home they live in doesn’t mean they don’t pay real estate taxes in the end. Their rent pays the landlord’s taxes and mortgage

      • Because most people don’t take the time to develop the skills, training, and education necessary to afford that kind of a life.

        Plus most don’t have the work ethic necessary to sustain it.

        Becoming a doctor, engineer, or high ranking executive isn’t easy. Years of sacrifice, continuing Ed, and putting aside temporary rewards for long term gain. Being a clerk at Holiday or stocking at Target requires a pulse and a willingness to not show up stoned every shift.

        Renters do not pay property tax. They give others the means to pay their property taxes.

        Argument’s based on emotion and outrage are easy to pick apart.

        • Renters do not pay property tax directly, but rest assured, that a portion of that rent pays for property tax.

    • I am pretty sure that the $400K number was used as an example.
      And, everyone will pay except the homeless. If you are renting, the landlord uses your rent to pay the taxes…

  7. That’s a hard no vote. The ASD does not need to expand into early childhood development/ preschool business. ASD needs to deal with their loss of enrollment by making cuts to their budget, and maybe actually teaching the students they have.

  8. More money for unions. They just want another business to hide union employees. Just watch and these employees will have the best can’t get fired jobs with take as much time off as you want with pay. This is a union ploy to steal more from dumb taxpayers.

  9. No on everything.
    Clearly the city doesn’t need the money as they are now in talks to purchase the arctic rec center to turn into ANOTHER God forsaken bum shelter. I’ve no interest in improving the parks either as a lot of them are pretty much free spaces for bums to desecrate anyways. As far as the schools go, that’s a hard NO as well. Improve the outcome of the students, then maybe we can talk about new roofs and security cameras.

  10. Mark! Thank you for expressing the inordinate tax burden put on home owners in the Anchorage Muni. I see theft personified and unabated. I needed another voice to identify the the crime afoot.

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