The total price-tag on Anchorage’s 2016 operating budget is about $488 million. That’s up around $7 million dollars from a few months ago, $3 million of which is a result voter-approved measures in the April elections, according to Lance Wilber, director of the municipality’s Office of Management and Budget.
For property owners, the mill rate will rise very slightly to 14.16, or $1,416 per every $100,000 of a home’s assessed value. For the owner of a $300,000 home that translates to a $42 increase over last year. The amount of money coming into the municipality through property taxes is up 6.7 percent, though Wilber told assembly members most of that is from new construction and population growth.
Also approved were amendments creating two new employee positions: One for a additional fire inspector, the other for a code enforcement officer to deal with commercial cannabis businesses as they head towards opening in the year ahead.
The Assembly devoted lengthy sections of its meeting to parsing a complicated financial situation involving a modest budget surplus of about $15 million, an adjustment to the tax-cap formula as a result of voter approval for Proposition 8, and a lack of clarity from Juneau on multiple appropriations. At issue was how to best apportion surplus monies in a way that benefits residents, but also provides flexibility in the budget process next year. In the end, the measure that passed directs up to $5 million in tax-relief to property owners by the end of the year, depending on how much money is left in the Fund Balance.