Assembly-approved Anchorage School District budget seeks tax hike from homeowners
The Anchorage Assembly voted Tuesday to approve the Anchorage School District's more than $885 million proposed operating budget for fiscal year 2019-2020, which includes a request for a 1.3 percent property tax increase.
The tax hike would bring in an additional $3.3 million for the district, according to documents submitted to the Assembly.
ASD's Office of Management and Budget senior director Andy Ratliff said that money would support several areas, like updating 15-year-old curriculum and outdated classroom technology.
"We're able to keep classroom sizes, the pupil-to-teacher ratio, the same as it was in the last year," Ratliff said Tuesday. "We added supports to special education, particularly within preschool. We added measures for school safety such as security cameras and school intercoms."
Ratliff said Anchorage taxpayers are good about supporting public education, and that this small increase wouldn't be noticeable to most homeowners.
If Gov. Dunleavy's $41 million bond proposal goes through, taxpayers would feel a real punch. Under that proposal, the state would no longer reimburse municipalities for up to 90 percent of school construction projects, meaning local taxpayers would pick up the tab.
"That would be very noticeable," Ratliff said. "The $41 million in state bond debt reimbursement that the governor proposed cutting out of his budget, for the average homeowner would equate to about $430 per household."
After the Legislature wraps for the session, the district will produce its adopted budget.
Cassie Schirm contributed to this report.
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