Anchorage metropolis leaders have been making an attempt to plug a policing void on the scenic however crash-susceptible Seward Freeway alongside Turnagain Arm ever because the Alaska State Troopers withdrew for value causes.
The town has patched collectively some options, putting a deal in Girdwood with Whittier police and forming a particular tax fund for different Turnagain Arm communities. However the Seward Freeway, the one street connecting Anchorage to the Kenai Peninsula, has been in limbo. A state grant that has allowed the Anchorage Police Division to semi-commonly patrol the freeway in current months is about to dry up in April.
Now Anchorage Mayor Ethan Berkowitz has proposed a potential repair — a everlasting redistribution of taxes to pay for freeway patrols.
The proposed measure would assure a approach for Anchorage police to conduct freeway patrols south of McHugh Creek, officers say. It means Anchorage householders and companies would see a really slight dip in property taxes. Individuals who reside in Girdwood and alongside Turnagain Arm — and don’t at present pay taxes for Anchorage Police Division service — would see a slight increase in property taxes.
The Anchorage Meeting must OK the measure. However no public vote is important, as a result of the measure doesn’t change the whole quantity of taxes collected by the town, stated metropolis supervisor Invoice Falsey. He stated it is primarily designed to offer Anchorage police the authority to patrol an space that additionally pays for the service.
Falsey stated it was “not acceptable” for the freeway to go unpoliced sooner or later.
“We need to have some Plan B,” Falsey stated. “So how about all of us pay for the highways within the Municipality of Anchorage?”
Traditionally, troopers have been liable for patrolling the Seward Freeway south of Anchorage’s most populous areas. However steep finances cuts led commanders to shift consideration the state’s extra rural areas. In typically-testy letters, state officers contended that Anchorage, with its full police powers, ought to tackle duty of policing areas inside metropolis boundaries.
Till just lately, Berkowitz and his deputies insisted there wasn’t a authorized method to for the Anchorage Police Division to do it with out asking voters to boost taxes. Berkowitz even instructed a gross sales tax final yr to provide you with the cash.
Then Falsey, previously the town lawyer, discovered that Anchorage Meeting had designated different providers “areawide” prior to now and not using a vote. That included libraries, in 1976, Falsey…