Sunday, May 19, 2013
No Major Spending Cuts, Tax Hikes in Anchorage Mayor’s $451M Budget Proposal
The budget includes only a slight increase in property taxes, while maintaining services like public transportation, safety and libraries.
Friday, Anchorage Mayor Dan Sullivan revealed his proposed 2012 operating budget, a plan calling for a slight increase in property taxes and no major cuts anywhere in city government.
The roughly $450 million budget would require a 1.5 percent property tax increase, while expanding the police department and maintaining services like public transportation and the library system.
It’s a balance Anchorage residents have been looking for over the past several years.
In 2009 and 2010, looming deficits meant cuts across the board, and municipal officials disagreed on whether to increase property taxes to expand the police department, or keep taxes low and pay the price in public safety.
“I support all the infrastructure for a healthy city—police protection is part of that,” said Anchorage resident Lewis Mass. “I’d rather pay more tax and support that as opposed to keeping taxes down and having reduced services.”
This year, the proposed budget could meet priorities on both sides of the table.
“We’re pleased that the homeowners in town won’t be impacted too much,” Sullivan said of the proposed tax increase, which would equal an additional $7 per $100,000 of assessed home value. “At the same time, the real message is [that] we anticipate absolutely no reduction in services and an increase in our public safety personnel.”