ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Anchorage property tax bills have increased over the last year, rising to an average of $1,675 per $100,000 of property.
The increase is related to a transfer of school bond debt reimbursement burden from the state to local taxpayers resulting from a veto by Republican Gov. Mike Dunleavy, The Anchorage Daily News reported Wednesday.
The bills issued May 1 vary based on the city area of each taxpayer’s property. A homeowner with a house valued at $350,000 had a property tax increase of $168.
The Anchorage Assembly approved a request from Mayor Ethan Berkowitz to delay payment deadlines by a month because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The first payment is due in July instead of June, with the second payment due in September instead of August.
The transfer of school bond debt liability will cost $48 per $100,000 of property value.
The state operated a program for decades covering half or more of the amount of local school bonds.
Dunleavy’s budget proposal in 2019 cut the funding. The Legislature passed a package that included full school bond debt reimbursement. But Dunleavy eliminated half of that using his veto, which the Legislature failed to override.
The change put about $20.5 million in debt service onto Anchorage taxpayers. The Anchorage School District found about $4 million to offset the cut, leaving $16.5 million to be covered by property taxpayers.
“That was a significant jump,” Anchorage’s Office of Management and Budget Director Lance Wilber said.
Dunleavy planned to use money from federal coronavirus relief funds to replace money he vetoed from the state budget, allocating more than $560 million to cities and boroughs.
There has not yet been clear guidance on whether federal rules allow the funding to be used for the items Dunleavy vetoed.
For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia, and death. The vast majority of people recover.