Municipality of Anchorage: No tax break for owners of 4th Avenue Theatre
Anchorage’s chief financial officer, Robert Harris, has turned down a request for a multi-million dollar tax break from the owners of the 4th Avenue Theatre.
Peach Investments has plans to build a tower, parking garage and possibly a hotel, or condos, on the site of the aging building. The company has argued it needs a tax break to make the project viable.
But Harris said the city is not prepared to give away millions of dollars in public money without more detail on what it’s getting in return.
Harris said the company needs to demonstrate how the tax break would be a benefit the public, but has failed to do so.
“They asked for $38 million in tax exemptions without clearly identifying what the benefit to the taxpayers would be,” said Harris. “In essence it’s a public-private partnership and its useful to know if the tax payers are going to be spending money on something, exactly what they are getting for that. I think that’s a reasonable thing for taxpayers to want to know.”
Peach Investments didn’t return phone calls on Thursday to talk about the next step in the project, but the company could still get the tax break it wants. The Anchorage Assembly will take up the issue Tuesday and could vote to award the tax break.
Under the request, Peach Investments would pay a reduced rate for 10 years that amounts to about a $38 million tax break. After 10 years the company would begin to pay on the full value of the redeveloped property.
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