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Anchorage tax cap initiative headed for April ballot

  • Author: Devin Kelly
  • Updated: September 28, 2016
  • Published February 11, 2016

An initiative to lower Anchorage's tax cap by changing the way it's calculated will go before voters in the city election on April 5.

The city clerk's office certified the petition this week after supporters collected nearly 11,000 signatures. The Alaska chapter of Americans for Prosperity, the national conservative advocacy organization that has played a role in coordinating the effort, announced the news in a statement Thursday.

"Our organization will now go to work to educate the people of Anchorage on the importance of restoring the tax cap," Jeremy Price, executive director of Alaska AFP, said in the statement.

Anchorage's tax cap, approved by voters in 1983, limits the annual increase of city taxes and is based on inflation and population growth.

The initiative is aimed at reversing an October 2015 ordinance by the Anchorage Assembly that changed the starting point for calculating the city's tax cap. The change set the base for the calculation as the amount levied in the previous year by the Assembly, allowing the city to collect an additional $1 million in taxes.

The underlying issue is a philosophical debate about the proper balance between taxes and spending cuts as the city's budget comes under pressure from declines in revenue sharing with the state.

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