Could a break on property taxes be enough to turn a blighted neighborhood around?
Some people who live and work in Fairview are hoping so. Anchorage Assembly members will soon consider a proposal that would declare Fairview a “tax abatement district.”
The distinction would allow developers who build multi-family housing in the zone to write off the cost of the project from their property taxes. Businesses that do major remodels or new construction would be able to write off the cost of improvements required to city utilities. Under the proposal, which is sponsored by Assembly Chairman Patrick Flynn, developers could also write off the cost of environmental cleanup on lots they intend to develop.
Paul Fuhs with the Fairview Business Association is a big fan of the plan. A longtime Fairview resident, he said he knows many parts of Fairview need help to make it a more attractive place to live.
“It’s right downtown, it’s where people would like to live closer to downtown and closer to their work, but under the current conditions we are just not seeing the investment,” Fuhs said. “That’s why we are asking for a tax abatement as an incentive for people to come in and develop these properties.”
A spokesman for Mayor Dan Sullivan said the mayor supports the idea generally, but has some objections to the way the proposal is written now. The mayor is opposed to allowing tax breaks for commercial developers and wants to focus instead on incentives for new housing development citywide. The mayor will introduce his own proposal on Friday. A hearing on the Fairview plan that Flynn is sponsoring is scheduled for July 8 in front of the Assembly.