Anchorage Mayor Dave Bronson announced his budget vetoes to the expanded budget of the Anchorage Assembly.
The mayor’s 2023 budget of $583 million was delivered in October and proposed staying under the tax cap by $4.8 million, with an overall increase of about 3% from the 2022 revised budget.
The Assembly drove the budget higher with additions, passing an additional $3.6 million and bringing the spending to just $1.2 million beneath the tax cap. The Assembly ended up passing the largest budget in Anchorage history.
Bronson’s vetoed items include spending for the Brother Francis Shelter to increase its capacity to shelter homeless. The mayor says that the shelter has already said it will not be expanding.
Here are the vetoed items:
- Dunbar & Quinn-Davidson Amendment #8 Alcohol Tax Omnibus – Alcohol Tax. – $150,000, Legislative, Technical assistance for Alcohol Tax grant application process. The mayor cited separation of powers issues involved with this appropriation.
- $445,000, Health, Annual basis to allow for a permanent increase of single adult shelter capacity: Brother Francis Shelter. The mayor said that Brother Francis Shelter management has stated it would stick with its 120-person capacity and therefore would not be able to increase shelter services.
- Dunbar & Quinn-Davidson Amendment #8 GG Omnibus – General Government: $730,000, Health, Annual basis to allow for a permanent increase of single adult shelter capacity: Brother Francis Shelter. The mayor said Brother Francis Shelter has said it has a 120-person capacity and will not be expanding.
- $44,072, Legislative, Security contract for Assembly. The mayor wrote: “This amendment identifies $65,000 for security contract for assembly, however, pursuant to the terms of the current contract with Securitas, the annual cost for security at assembly meetings is $20,928 of which the Maintenance & Operations department currently pays. Therefore I am reducing the amendment from $65,000 to $20,928 a difference of $44072 which is over and above the amount necessary to pay the cost of security for assembly meetings.”
- ($730,000), Health, Non labor budget for homelessness. The mayor wrote: “While I support the efforts of the Brother Francis Shelter and the work, they provide to compassionately address those individuals experiencing homelessness, Brother Francis Shelter will not be able to comply with the terms as stated in this amendment. The organization has expressly stated that they are committed to sticking to their 120-client capacity for the foreseeable future.”
- ($65,000), Maintenance & Operations, Reduce security contract funds. The mayor stated that “the current contract with Securitas, the annual cost for security at assembly meetings is $20,928, of which the Maintenance & Operations department currently pays. Therefore, I am reducing the amendment from $65,000 to $20,928, which is over and above the amount necessary to pay the cost of security for assembly meetings.”
The Mayor’s veto message can be seen on this link: Vetoes of AO 2022-87 as Amended.
The budget is not all of the spending by the city. There is additional spending that gets around the tax cap by the use of bonds and spending items that the voters approve during elections. If voters approve a capital budget expenditure, the operations for that expenditure are not included in the tax cap.