OPINION: Prop. 14 will result in a tax increase

Yes folks, once again, it is all about “the children.”

Proposition 14 on the April 4 Anchorage municipal ballot proposes to amend the municipal charter by removing the local taxation on marijuana from the tax cap calculation.

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

Now here we are just a few years later, with a proposition before us to be voted upon which will backtrack 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 taxpayers dollar for dollar. If passed, Prop. 14 will result in an initial increase of $68 in the annual property tax bill on a home with a $400,000 valuation because of the removal of that $6 million from the tax cap.

Make no mistake about it, despite the way it is being sold, Prop. 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 its No. 1 priority.

In 2009, voters approved the “Repair our Tax Cap Initiative” by 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 unlock the voter-approved provisions of our tax cap will haunt 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 the 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.

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