Dedicated followers of municipal governance most assuredly did not watch this evening’s football game, instead employing those valuable hours cogitating on Anchorage’s 2011 budget, right? Okay, perhaps not, but if you have been following the process I have a brief update. First, however, two quick administrative matters:
Last week I received a few e-mails from folks surprised (and disappointed) that I voted against a recent tobacco tax increase. Here’s a redacted copy of my response:
Friday, November 5, marked the Assembly’s final (we think) work session on the administration’s proposed 2011 budget. We likely would’ve had at least one more if we hadn’t conducted the enterprise activity-specific budget meeting earlier in the week (and, of course, we may later decide to conduct another work session should circumstances so dictate). Here’s the list of departments discussed:
As mentioned previously, on November 1 the Assembly spent some quality time with representatives from Anchorage’s five utility enterprises to discuss their 2011 budgets, as well as future projections. We had some interesting discussions and below are some of the highlights.
Solid Waste Services:
Anchorage’s local government includes five so-called enterprise activities which, via fees and other payments, earn the revenue necessary to fund their operations. While their workforce is still comprised of municipal employees they do operate somewhat independently of the remainder of city government.
Last Friday’s Assembly work session included three hours focused on the administration’s proposed 2011 budget where we delved into some of the details for the following departments:
Among the many agenda items at the next Assembly meeting, including the first of three public hearings on the administration’s 2011 budget plan, is a proposed increase in Anchorage’s tobacco taxes. If you’ll pardon the pun, all the heat and light focused on the upcoming election has diverted attention away from this idea but I’ve actually spent some time cogitating on the matter.
From a public policy perspective there are two primary considerations related to raising tobacco taxes:
Last week the mayor unveiled his proposed 2011 city budget. Since then I’ve been both conducting more in-depth review (though some of the details, like various fee increases, appear to be in flux) and mulling over some of the various revenue proposals that could provide property tax relief. Here are a few of those ideas:
The biggest issues at our September 28 Assembly meeting involved the Downtown Business Improvement District (DID); both the 2010 assessment for the existing DID and the continuation/expansion until 2020. (See “Downtown dust-up” for more background.) The former, as it typically does, passed unanimously while the latter passed 8-3 with dissent led by South Anchorage’s Chris Birch, and there’s an interesting story there.
Yes, I know, it’s been a while since my last post. I’ve been pretty busy, though, so here’s an update as to what’s been going on:
Next Port committee meeting:
It took a while to coordinate all the schedules but the Port committee is slated to re-convene on Thursday, October 14, at 9 am in City Hall, room 155. For a preview of the agenda see my last post on this issue.
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