As I opened my property tax bill, a crazy thought crossed my mind: Just maybe it went down this year. Heck, the city received millions of dollars from the CARES Act, the American Rescue Plan and the sale of Municipal Light and Power. One would think that money would surely trickle down to those who pay for roads, police and fire service, schools and parks: Anchorage property owners. I’ve read daily about the Assembly’s and current mayor’s plans to buy buildings and pay rent for the homeless. And the Anchorage School District is seeking public input on how to spend more than $100 million by the year 2025.
I figured if ever the current mayor and Assembly had the chance to provide a little relief to those that pay for city government, this would be the time.
The first thing I read on the Municipal Tax Notice was that state Legislature aid was lowered, which wasn’t a surprise based on the governor’s past budget, but what did surprise and disappoint me was that my property taxes went up $1,200, of which $800 was for ASD. The same ASD that is going to receive more than $100 million in federal COVID-19 relief dollars and asking for help to spend it.
Since Ethan Berkowitz took office, my property taxes have increased 24%, the most under any administration going back to my first house purchase under the Fink administration.
With most property taxes buried in home mortgages, Anchorage property taxpayers probably don’t recognize the huge increases. I am hoping under the new Bronson administration, we can get a little fiscal restraint and not disappoint the “golden goose” the next time we open our property tax bills.
— Sean Bradley
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