Berkowitz’s Anchorage budget proposal: Lower property taxes, new gas tax

Anchorage Mayor Ethan Berkowitz needs to spend extra on snowplowing and firefighters whereas reducing property taxes in his 2018 price range — and he is trying to a tax on gasoline to assist get there.

In a Friday presentation to the Meeting, the Berkowitz administration additionally proposed chopping some employees positions and tapping new revenues in marijuana taxes and ambulance charges.

A police academy to switch retiring officers and cash for housing and cleansing up blighted properties are additionally included within the mayor’s finances.

Berkowitz stated he is on the lookout for methods to pay for public security whereas decreasing property taxes and assembly fastened prices of labor and well being care.

“The upshot of this finances is, property taxpayers are going to see vital aid,” Berkowitz informed members of the Anchorage Meeting in short feedback Friday morning.

The mayor referred to as for the town to undertake a ten-cent-per-gallon gasoline tax and provides a better tax break to residential properties.

Neither of the tax proposals would take impact instantly. Voters must approve the change within the quantity of the residential property tax exemption, and the Meeting would need to move the gasoline tax.

In all, Anchorage’s basic authorities price range would develop by $10 million from the present yr to $519 million. Fastened prices, like labor and well being care, in addition to modifications within the financial system, authorized settlements and state spending contribute to the dimensions of the price range, finances director Lance Wilber stated.

This is an summary of Berkowitz’s spending priorities in his 2018 finances proposal:

  • A police academy to switch retiring officers and keep the dimensions of the Anchorage Police Division. It’s not but recognized what number of officers can be employed, because the variety of retirements aren’t but recognized, Wilber stated.
  • A fireplace academy to rent sufficient firefighters to employees two new ambulances. The ambulances are set to seem on the April metropolis poll as a bond.
  • About $500,000 extra for snowplowing and winter upkeep.
  • Cash for initiatives on housing and homelessness, additionally about $500,000. These initiatives haven’t but been recognized. An identical expenditure within the 2016 finances went to a piece van aimed toward panhandlers.
  • A small pool of cash to wash up nuisance properties. Wilber stated one instance might embrace a junkyard in Bear Valley whose proprietor had but to answer fines and courtroom rulings.
  • Final winter, Berkowitz and his employees have been pummeled by complaints about snowplowing after…

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