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Should Anchorage Lower Property Tax by Raising Another Tax?

Published On: Dec 24 2013 09:50:01 AM AKST   Updated On: Oct 30 2013 08:54:51 AM AKDT

Should Anchorage lower property tax by raising another tax? It’s one solution being considered by Mayor Dan Sullivan’s office. On Tuesday, the mayor held the first of four discussions this week with the goal of finding ways to give property owners some tax relief.

Creating an Anchorage lottery, adding a gasoline tax or increasing current tobacco taxes were all ideas brought forward by residents who attended Tuesday's community dialogue at the Anchorage Senior Center.

According to the mayor’s office, the municipality’s main source of revenue is property tax. Adding another revenue source could lower property taxes, and Sullivan says the purpose of the discussions is to find out if people like the current tax system or if they want to see changes.

"We have 18,000 to 20,000 drivers from Mat-Su and we have a significant visitor industry and we've got seasonal workers," Sullivan said. "Quite frankly, the thought is they're using a lot of our services and not contributing, so that's what leads the discussion of, ‘Should there be a way to capture revenue from those folks?’" 

Sullivan says he has not drafted any proposals regarding taxes, since he wants to hear what the public thinks instead.

The three remaining meetings will be held at 5:45 p.m., with the next one taking place Wednesday at the Eagle River Lions Club, and the last two set for Nov. 13 at the Bayshore Club House and Nov. 14 at the Embassy Suites. City officials are asking people to reserve places online at the municipality's website.