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Friday, March 5, 2021
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Get it right on tax relief

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By ANCHORAGE DAILY PLANET

The Anchorage Assembly will get another chance to get it right when it reconsiders granting personal property tax relief to small business owners hard-hit by city and state COVID-19 restrictions.

The Assembly earlier this month failed in a 5-5 vote to approve Assemblywoman Crystal Kennedy’s AO No 2020-17, which would have offered tax relief for business personal property to “eligible taxpayers financially impacted by government orders….” Business personal property includes inventory or equipment.

Kennedy’s ordinance would have allowed a taxpayer whose business was ordered closed by the state or city in a hunker-down order for at least 30 days and who has paid or owes business personal property tax to request a 16 percent reduction of the total 2020 tax amount, exclusive of penalties or interest.

After tweaks, the ordinance now would offer an 8 percent – 16 percent discount, with a $5,000 ceiling on personal property taxes for those businesses, based on how long they were shuttered.

One of the five “no” votes earlier this month, Assembly Member Meg Zaletel, moved to reconsider the ordinance.

She said, KTUU reports, her initial opposition to Kennedy’s ordinance was concern over leaving a hole in the municipality’s revenues.

A new version of the ordinance, sponsored by Kennedy and Zaletel, simplifies the application process, among other things, and sets out a process for filling the revenue gaps.

Perhaps the Assembly will get it right this time around.

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Latest comments

  • They worry about the hole in Municipality Finances but yet Small Businesses are going out if business because the Illegal order from the Mayor.

  • The muni should be looking at ways to seriously reduce spending instead of piling on more debt to the property owners. The taking of rights from the business owners, denying them the right to earn a living and feed their families, should be shouted down from every corner of our city. Zaletel is nutty as a fruitcake and has zero point of reference when it comes to fiscal responsibility.

  • Greedy Alaska municipal governments want everyone else to give during the time of COVID. Juneau city government tells shoppers to “look local first.” But if anyone mentions a possible sales tax holiday for one day of Christmas shopping the Assembly members look down their noses as if someone came in with something stuck on their shoe.

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