The only really important thing the Assembly needs to do tonight is set mill rates for 2009. There are two ordinances for that, one for MOA budget items and one for ASD budget items. In conjunction we pass the first quarter budget amendments, where we set spending levels for which we need to provide revenue.
While I wrote previously that Acting Mayor Matt Claman would not return to the Assembly as chair a recent legal opinion from the Department of Law opines the opposite view, based in part on commentary associated with Anchorage’s charter. Reasonable minds might disagree but, since Mr. Claman has indicated that his first order of business upon his return in July would be election of a chair, an election in which he does not plan to stand, it seems an inconsequential point.
As we approach the May 5 mayoral run-off one of the issues at the fore is the question of taxes. One of the candidates has advanced the possibility of replacing Anchorage property taxes with a sales tax while the other rejects the idea. Part of the disagreement appears to stem from how a sales tax would be crafted (what items would be exempted, transaction caps, etc.) and what rate would therefore be required. Perhaps you’ve heard a sales tax of 6% would raise enough revenue to replace property taxes. If so, that assertion was probably based on work performed by Larry Persily back in 2005.
Tonight’s Assembly meeting is moving along at a not-too-glacial pace, in part because we delayed consideration of a few items to future meetings, and there’s hope we’ll get quite a few items completed by night’s end. One aspect I’ve enjoyed is the reappearance of three people from my past. To wit:
The Anchorage municipal election has come and gone, sort of, and those who follow local government could be forgiven for asking the question, “now what?” As it turns out, quite a bit.
By now readers are likely aware that the acting Mayor vetoed the Assembly’s version of the School District budget, thereby restoring the School Board‘s version and reversing a $3.8 million cut. (If you missed it here are links to the KTUU and ADN stories.) The move wasn’t exactly a surprise, given that I mused about it last week, but I’m more curious about the downstream effects.
Copyright - Patrick Flynn, All Rights Reserved