War on the poor: If government decides your property is a ‘blight,’ it could levy huge tax under Dunbar bill


Americans for Tax Reform has come out strongly against Senate Bill 77, a “blight tax bill” sponsored by Sen. Forrest Dunbar of Anchorage.

The legislation would allow local government jurisdictions to levy a “blight” tax on property deemed by local authorities to suffer from “blight,” and the tax could be as high as 50% of the property’s current tax.

This could be seen as a taking by the government of property, when there is no definition given by the legislation as to what constitutes “blight.”

“ATR opposes this new tax and its dangerous corresponding expansion of local regulatory authority,” the organization wrote on April 5.

“Seemingly intended to reduce the prevalence of unattractive buildings or those in disrepair, SB 77 implements a framework permitting municipalities to define blighted property and penalize them with a special tax. As written, however, this framework would prove to be one of the broadest local blight-tax authorizations in the nation. Municipalities could adopt virtually any definition of blight, while simultaneously slapping on a heavy new tax burden of up to 50% of existing property taxes,” ATR pointed out.

“For a resident of Anchorage paying the median property tax, a 50% blight-tax hike translates to an additional $1,782 in annual property taxes,” the organization wrote.

The opportunity for abuse are significant. Blight-tax legislation in other states overwhelmingly include specific definitions of what may constitute blighted property, or at the very least offer parameters that a municipality must adhere to when creating and enforcing the tax, ATR noted. “Narrow definitions are critical to preventing overzealous city councils from arbitrarily broadening the blight- tax base in search of more revenue.”

SB 77, with cosponsor Sen. Matt Claman, has been fast-tracked through the Senate and may be heard in the House Community and Regional Affairs Committee as early as this week.

“Unfortunately, SB 77 fails to provide even one such limitation on what might constitute a blighted property. The framework before you is ripe for abuse by city officials and county governments, leaving low-income Alaskans to suffer any number of consequences, including foreclosure on their homes,” ATR said.

It’s not hypothetical. As an example, ATR pointed to how last year in Springfield, Ill., a resident was charged $63,000 in repair costs to his home. Unable to pay the bill, his home was placed in receivership and ultimately foreclosed.


    • I hate to say this but establishment Republicans hate poor people just as much. For the most part, IMO, both political parties are but two different sides of the same coin, designed to pit ourselves against each other.

      • Add pre-born babies… and God who is the essence of love and wisdom. The Democrat party is the party that booed God. “But he who sins against me injures himself; All those who hate me love death.” Prov. 8:36

    • He’s using this to out-tax you and then grab your property for the homeless. If he can’t do it one way, he’ll scam you out of your home..just watch it.

  1. So the municipality road blocks a rehabilitation project to a building, then passes a tax so they can further impoverish the owner. The ultimate result of this terroristic BS is the taking of the property by the government for lack of financial ability to pay the taxes due to the actions of the same government to block the owner from making the property economically viable. I know of two properties in Anchorage that are on at least year 5 of this very activity, both owned by the same guy. It is criminal, it is unconstitutional, and it is treasonous passage of law to violate the constitutional rights of the individual.

    • Dunbar, claman, rivera, zeletel, elvi, et al…. They are evil
      They start their evil in local government, learn how to abuse their authority, and dumb asses vote them into HIGHER OFFICES.
      They are evil, once you see it, you understand them.
      They are all george soros. They want power and money and will do what they are told (tho some of these evil plans are their own now that they embrace evil) to stay in power.
      Power corrupts, and it has infected these politicians to the point of utter uselessness other than to destroy us and our lives.
      You stop voting, you stop caring, they fill the void with their evil plans.
      Get out the vote!

  2. That’s the plan, isn’t it? Take your health, take your business, take your home, take your guns, take your kids, take your religion your speech your flag your country your cash your hope.

  3. This is extremely concerning; Alaska already has some of the worst forfeiture laws in the nation. We don’t need to allow municipalities to fund themselves this way. If the people give them the ability, believe me, they will exercise it and put people on the street if they so choose too.

    • You act like we have a choice.
      These politicians are EVIL, they are going to do their worst to us and then try to justify it with how THEY have improved our lives.
      They are told what to do by those they are beholden to, George Soros, CCP, and the evil Democrat Party.
      If you vote these evil politicians in, you get what you deserve.
      If you do not vote, you are getting what you deserve.
      I do not deserve to have to live with your stupid and lazy choices.
      When they haul you away and take your property, this is why. You were lazy.
      The ballot showed up for you to just fill it in, drop into the mail with stamps or a dropbox, which were all over town.

      • HUHHHH, my stupid choices? what on earth are you talking about? you have no idea what choices i make or what I believe in or not. if you wanted to rant then why comment on my post? I was alluding to the fact that Alaska has the worst forfeiture laws in the nation and that the Munies would love nothing more than to take your property and sell it to fund their BS. why the people of Alaska continue to put up with this amazes me still today. This is criminal in my opinion, and they should be held to account. Oh and by the way, will it really matter if we vote? given the new voting procedures in this State, we will be lucky to ever win another election, so why even bother?

  4. It’s a back door approach to confiscate property. Your property gets deemed as blight and up go your taxes. It will be very unattractive for potential buyers and lenders due to the levy on the property. Government forecloses and it’s theirs. I believe the new phrase used is “equity.”

  5. These issues should be left to local governments, what is considered blight in Anchorage could be only “substandard” in Tok.

    • He didnt get to be assembly chair, he is getting his payback on us.
      Dunbar is evil to a level i cannot fathom.
      His spiteful and meanspirited behaviour towards we the people is completely inappropriate.
      He is a petty tyrant.

  6. “The legislation would allow local government jurisdictions to levy a “blight” tax on property deemed by local authorities to suffer from “blight,” and the tax could be as high as 50% of the property’s value.”

    ““Unfortunately, SB 77 fails to provide even one such limitation on what might constitute a blighted property. The framework before you is ripe for abuse by city officials and county governments, leaving low-income Alaskans to suffer any number of consequences, including foreclosure on their homes,” ATR said.”

    The bill explicitly says primary residences can’t be designated as blighted.

    • * The bill provides for the ability to increase the tax by 50% OF THE EXISTING tax rate. Not 50% of the property’s value.

      • NP Analyst.
        But if your tax is figured upon your properties assessment of value multipied by the millage rate ( tax rate) wouldn’t that be the same as a 50% increase in assessment? Hmm…

        BTW, I recall ” Urban Renewal”, a part of LBJ’s Model Cities which was under the Great Society umbrella.
        Folks that OWNED their homes, blighted or not, were booted off their claim and lived out their days in subsidized government housing.
        The property after demolition was sold off to Developers, who then built Condos for middle management Government Workers.

  7. As someone who has taken great pride in taking care of my home and property while also having to live next door to an vacant house owned by someone out of state, I fully support this bill. I have spent the last 5 years running vagrants/drug addicts off of the property and mine and the owner has done nothing. Some people will only do something when their wallet is threatened.

  8. Watch your backs folks. Dunbar is feeling his strength and power. And he intends to rule over the state. Damn those blight property owners. He’ll make em pay now!

  9. To me, “blight’ is those small, square, colorful flags that hippies string in front of their houses to show us they are into Buddhism. I say we tax them out of their houses. Thanks Forrest.

  10. Governments were created to protect us and our assets, not to auction off the products of our labors or to coerce, threaten, use Mafia tactics to force us to pay protection money they call taxes. These Authoritarians are in reality, our employees. We are not their slaves and are not obligated to obey foreign law. Statutes were replaced with
    International law way back in 1945 via the International Organization Immunities Act which relinquished every public office of the United States to the United Nations. “Neither the For Profit Government nor the Foreign Statute Merchant/Agent has access to sovereign immunity.” Why are we continuing to obey these unregistered foreign agents? I think we should liquidate their foreign corporations pretending to be “our governments”.

  11. “The Supreme Power cannot take from any Man any part of his Property without his own consent. For the preservation of Property being the end of Government, and that for which Men enter into Society, it necessarily supposes and requires, that the People should have Property, without which they must be supposed to lose that by entering into Society, which was the end for which they entered into it, too gross an absurdity for any Man to own. Men therefore in Society having Property, they have such a right to the goods, which by the Law of the Community are theirs, that no Body hath a right to take their substance, or any part of it from them, without their own consent; without this, they have no Property at all.” — John Locke, Second Treatise of Government, § 138

  12. The government lies as it is now so they want a property they will now just steal it. No to any more government power. Just anchorage tool for government overreach.Go back to your closet Dunbar.

  13. Its long range planning for the dumpster fire that were about to behold, cant blame them for their long term vision.

  14. Interesting…just came from a weekend in Anchorage. Many tax paying neighborhoods were down to one lane as no snow has been plowed or removed. Good thing the homeless have a warm place to use drugs and drink alcohol. The area surrounding the Sullivan is an utter zombie land of drunk and stoned out homeless wandering aimlessly.
    Anchorage will become the next Los Angeles due to the woke council running the show. What a waste…it’s a wonder how Anchorage residents have allowed this to happen?

    • Mail in voting. It all started with mail in voting, which the Assembly shoved down our throats. We didn’t get to vote on it.

      Once it passed, it was like a bat signal was turned on and radicals from out of state moved here just to run for Assembly and turn Anchorage into a hellhole like where they came from.

      • It was already happening before mail in. The failure of the GOP to take mail in to court sealed the deal.

  15. So if i improve my property, i get assessed higher, which means i pay more property tax. If i chose not to improve my property, i could pay more in property tax for being a “blight”. Just another government money grab from the peasants!

  16. If government housing for the homeless becomes a “blight” (uhmmm…….hello?), will it then be condemned?

      • Agreed. And the same attitude should be taken against “camps” illegally erected both on public land and private land.

  17. Who in the heck is going to decide what is a blight and what isn’t without a specific definition. It will be left up to some bureaucrat. More unnecessary legislation.

    • “Who in the heck is going to decide what is a blight and what isn’t without a specific definition……..”
      People like Mr. Dunbar (and his officers) will. As they do, they set a precedence standard of such “blights”. Then, obviously, the “abodes” of the people they use to wage cultural warfare against society become undeniable “blights”. Then they will be forced into more of their selective law enforcement, thereby further destroying the legitimacy of the government they use in their cultural warfare. As they destroy the legitimacy of government, they force more of the populace to push back against them.
      Eventually, the system breaks. And the world continues to spin and orbit the sun.

  18. Nobody likes eyesore property next door. Even my radio 89.3 fm anchorage aired topics encouraging christians to de-clutter and spend wisely. As well as we got many adults ages18-50 staying with family i.e
    a parent, grandparent, boyfriend, girlfriend, auntie, uncle. If they
    don’t pay rent they can at least work
    help with home improvement costs. Cause no one likes living
    in a cluttered dumpy dump. They just get used to it. Sometimes neighbors have elders 60+ having no one, he could use a neighbor turn friend to
    offer make home improvement and
    gardening work, no excuses its charity work to prove Mas.Aveng wrong genz-babyboomer
    agnostics-atheists don’t give as christians do out give their time and money to charitable
    work more.
    Still i agree with MA tough call to judge
    what is an Eyesore?

    • As usual, you have no idea what you’re talking about.

      But agreeing with me on anything is a step forward.

  19. So, the guy responsible for enabling vagrants in Anchorage is now wanting to judge homeowners on the appearance of their homes and fine double taxes for substandard appearance? How insane. The bush communities will welcome him for sure. Makes me want to junk out my property. But what really is junk. Many definitions. For some, an old couch recycled to the yard is lawn furniture. Who’s to judge?

  20. I guess this is one way to feed Meg Z’s
    “Non profits” ?
    Confiscation of a couple dozen village dwellings every quarter. Where do you think the inhabitants will end up…….and homeless.

  21. Obviously run Forrest run doesn’t understand that home rule boroughs and cities can already decide this for themselves. If your home rule borough or city wants to have a blight restriction then go for it, there is no reason to have a statewide blight law.

    I was charged, by the city, with blight in a previous life in a state in the lower 48. The sin of blight I committed was leaving my trash cans out on the street too long and not putting them behind a fence. I had surgery to remove a bone in my foot and could only walk with the use of crutches, try dragging garbage cans to and from the curb while using crutches after having surgery…I couldn’t do it, so had to have somone help who couldn’t move the trash cans quick enough, apparently. This was in a lower middle class working city.

  22. If you applied “blight” to downtown Juneau, 2/3 of the building would be gone tomorrow. Almost all of Lemon Creek.

  23. Meanwhile the Sullivan Arena AKA Thunder Dome blights several neighborhoods surrounding it with no end in sight. How did these clowns get reelected?

    • These clowns get elected, because not enough normal. People are interested enough to go to the voting booth. Until it affects them personally most people want food has shown in repeated elections. It’s the unions in the union employees that are doing all the voting and forging the New World order.

  24. The answer to being too poor is always to levy higher taxes, right?

    Obviously, Dunbar only wants rich elites in Anchorage. Who else can donate to his campaigns?

  25. Ohhh. Dunbar probably trying to beautify alaska and make owners see the responciblity and safety owning property, as well as be appealing. I hope this wasn’t planted and encouraged by another one of my long-winded complaint s i wrote of anchorage looking as a run-down town on dunbar’s facebook page in 2016 or 2017. That was before i began reading God’s Word and recieve Christ. We can’t make people live the way we want. We can volunteer and clean up a neighbor like one man
    two sunday’s ago telling a true story for Mission Garden’s radio storytime Unshackled about ‘Norman’ his neighbor, who was a stinky eyesore and lived in a rundown eyesore cluttered dirty house, and the man of the story
    walked across the street and became a friend to norman, he made repairs to his home, gave norman a bath, and scrubbed his house, and led norman to know
    jesus and how to start living diffently by first
    recieving jesus.
    Its one thing a property owner endangering tenants and hotel/motel guests safety as well as their dignity staying in a dump, or vagrant camps squatting on public and private properties. Its another a homeowner like norman living in an eyesore home that’s his own.

  26. Blasted SB77 in a POM yesterday morning. Got an e-mail from Matt Claman, co-sponsor. Unedited text follows. Cheers –

    Thank you for writing about Senate Bill 77, legislation that changes the statute that allows local governments to provide a property tax exemption to encourage local economic development.

    SB 77 allows municipalities to pass local legislation that allows exemptions from or reductions in property taxes to encourage economic development. Many communities across the country have used these kind of tax incentives to encourage housing and other real estate development. Current Alaska law restricts economic development incentives: a municipality may only exempt the portion of property taxes that is above the district’s required local tax contribution. SB 77 removes this limit for economic development properties while requiring that the property owner continue to make the required payments for education funding.

    SB 77 also allows local governments to levy a “blight tax” on substantially deteriorated property. “Blighted” properties are heavily deteriorated properties that can reduce property tax and quality of life by devaluing neighboring properties. Blighted properties often become a magnet for criminal activity, which result in additional costs to local and state government. A “blight tax” allows a higher tax on these properties to encourage remediation and redevelopment. When the property is appropriately remediated and no longer considered “blighted,” the tax rate returns to the normal level. The local government must pass legislation that defines what properties are considered “blighted,” the applicable tax rate, and what is considered “remediated.” The local government cannot impose a blight tax on an owner’s primary residence.

    Declining state revenue has limited the State’s ability to invest in economic development initiatives. This declining revenue has pushed municipalities to rely more on their own means to facilitate those economic development projects. Coupled with rising construction costs and an insufficient labor force, economic development initiatives have suffered. SB 77 seeks to address these concerns by providing additional options for localities.

    Please let us know if you have any other questions or concerns.

    Matt Claman

    • Thanks for the update.
      Question is whether Claman’s law applies equally to Native villages, non-taxed land in a city such as churches and charities, Native property within a city, nonprofit maintained public land such as parks and trails, rental properties, or to officials who allow bum camps on city property.
      We doubt it. Best guess is Claman’s Law is a soviet-style method of helping city officials get more money, for example, by weaponizing Anchorage’s Community Councils, turning them into code-enforcement apparatchiki shielded by Anchorage Charter from anything resembling traditional government check-and-balance constraint, including civil liability for harassment.
      Claman’s Law, pitting neighbor against neighbor, might also be intended as an effective distraction, deterring restive property owners from meddling in government affairs, annoying their masters as it were.
      Our hope is Governor Dunleavy, if requested by a number of people, will veto Claman’s Law or any variant which leaves property owners vulnerable to these abuses.

  27. Speaking of evil there Molly, the one and only Sarah Palin is far more evil. Mike is a punk. Let me know how that goes for you in the end. Looks like Russia is a done deal. Warrant for Putin’s arrest. Maybe we can get one for Pie Spy LLC?

  28. Dunbar has relatives in Portland whom he encouraged to attend the downtown protests that destroyed property. I just came from there and am in disbelief in what I saw after growing up in the surrounding area. It is beyond disgusting compared to what it once was not so long ago. It has been run into the sewer with Democrat leadership for many decades. I just cant begin to fathom how this happened other than sharing a border with california who my parents used to continually complain about them bringing their agendas with them. It is like maggots on a dead cow. One fly lays one egg in the nostril and it will ALWAYS end up consuming the entire animal. Portland has truly become a s**thole! Dunbar has his fingerprints on that city as well.

  29. What in the entire F$#####?

    Dear Matt. This is an overreach…

    “Eminent domain refers to the process by which the government may seize private property with proper compensation, but without the owner’s consent.”

    As a democrat man in power, I have to ask you who are the people you answer to AFTER you got elected?

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