TAXES AND SPENDING
We must maintain the financial strength of our municipal government and the local economy if we are to continue to prosper.
With the price of oil tanking, we are headed into interesting times. I was here in the 1980's. It can be tough. If there are similar job losses and decreasing incomes, the burden of property taxes will weigh heavier on us.
The decrease in state revenues has been significant on Anchorage. A short list includes the loss of millions in state revenue sharing, a $1 million increase in our cost of using the prison, Troopers moving out of Girdwood and off the Seward Highway, the loss of the state match on the school bonds, a decrease in the number of state prosecutors and an obvious decrease in winter road maintenance. Help for addicts, alcoholics and the mentally ill continues to be neglected. All of this leaves the citizens of Anchorage suffering the consequences and footing the bill.
In my first term, we consistently cut the budget of every department to move funds to rebuilding the police force. In 2018 we started paying the loans for the frustrating SAP project. This happens as the work load increases with EMS calls increasing, crime increasing and efforts to curb the growth in homelessness demanding more attention and budget.
Respect the tax cap. This has been a tool for helping us prioritize needs and wants.
We must prepare for lean times by focusing on priorities and cost saving.