Proposition 7 on April Ballot Touches Military Widows’ and Widowers’ Lives
Prop 7 would provide property tax relief for spouses of soldiers killed on active duty
ANCHORAGE - For most people, home is where the heart is. And for Theresa Dayton it's no different, even without her other half.
Dayton’s husband Master Sergeant Tom Cicardo with the Alaska Air National Guard, was one of four killed in a C-17 crash that happened back in July of 2010 on Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson.
Since then, life has been anything but easy, especially financially.
“To live on 20 percent of the income that I had prior to his death is an incredible feat,” said Theresa Dayton, widow of Cicardo.
Dayton works part-time, and receives a monthly military stipend that will run out in five years. She won't qualify for her husband's pension until she's 62.
She’s one of many widows or widowers who struggle to keep their homes.
“It’s the only thing I have left that was his,” she said.
Dayton is supporting Proposition 7 on the April municipal ballot, which would give a widow or widower of a person killed while on active duty a property tax exemption on the first $150,000 of their home.
Assemblymen Dick Traini thinks the proposition is important so people who call Anchorage home won't be forced to leave.
“There’s a few people this will affect every year; the vast majority of people here either live on base or rent or lease, because they don't know if they’re going to stay here,” said Traini.
Anchorage Assembly Chair Debbie Ossiander said the measure is too broad and could end up costing taxpayers a lot more in the long run.
But for Dayton it’s not about the money.
“My family lives on this street, my sister and my brother live on this street, and so I have family right here,” she said.
If the proposition is passed on Tuesday, it will still have to be approved by the Alaska Legislature before it can go into effect.