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:
The most recent Port committee meeting, conducted on Thursday, October 14, was interesting for a couple of reasons. First, the subject matter, which was thoughtful and in-depth. Second, the large crowd attending the discussion. More on that latter point later, here was the agenda:
The agenda for tonight’s Assembly meeting includes a normally mundane item, a conditional use permit (CUP) for a new package (liquor) store on Huffman Road, across from Carrs, in South Anchorage. I say mundane, because city code requires every package store (and bar, and restaurant with a beer & wine license) to obtain a CUP that the Assembly reviews every two years. Violations of a CUP are grounds for revocation of the liquor license and the conditions contained within CUPs define for the state Alcohol Beverage Control board our community’s expectations of operators. But this application appears to be anything but mundane.
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.
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