Municipal Election File, 2017

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October 3, 2017
Municipal Election

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The Interior Taxpayers Assoc.
Celebrates their 30th Anniversary
of Working for the People.

This is an “off” year for ITA. While we did collect over 2,000 signatures for the Borough revenue cap renewal, it will not actually be on your ballot till next year. So in addition to announcing our endorsements for this year, we can use our ad to remind you of what ITA is all about. This is especially important this year, with the Proposition B attack on the city tax cap.

Unlike the bureaucrats, over the years, ITA has asked for very little taxpayer money, while successfully saving the taxpayers well over $500 million, between stopping the sales tax, instituting the Fairbanks Tax Cap, and keeping the Borough Revenue cap renewed. Here’s how it was done:

ITA, with the help of the voters, stopped a 3% borough sales tax in 1987 (which would have been copied by the city, had it gone through.) Figuring that between the two, we were looking at a 6% sales tax , ten years later we did the math and realized that we had already saved the taxpayers over 97 million dollars just from that one action! We were able to leave that discretionary money in YOUR pocket for you to spend on your family, instead of the government wasting it! In reality, the amount would have been much more, since sales tax would have been unlikely to stay that low. When we stopped the sales tax, the voters also helped us pass a Revenue Cap for the borough, followed shortly thereafter with the Tax Cap for the city. The two caps have been protecting you for 30 years now, and racking up huge savings in property taxes while ensuring that if the government wants to start any new taxes they have to A. Lower property taxes to match, or B, allow you to vote.

This election, the City Mayor and 4 of the 6 Councilpersons want to raise the city tax cap – claiming it is because of a drop in revenue sharing – but we know better. A few months ago they approved a union contract that broke the city’s budget, and they want you to bail them out! In approving that contract, they also broke their policy of fairness among unions, giving that union more than the others, so now other groups will want matching compensation. In addition, during budget negotiations, the same four City Council members approved a $20,000 signing bonus for police officers. Does this sound like a city hurting for money? Now the city wants you to vote them permission to tax you more! Don’t do it! Vote NO on city proposition B! The tax cap is your only protection when we have a free-spending City Council in power. It is your only way to reign in unnecessary spending. It further occurs to us that the city is asking for more money from you, without even knowing how much money they will be taking in from the marijuana tax! They don’t know how much they will get, but they want you to give them more of your money anyway!

During the 30 years while ITA was saving you so much money, the bureaucrats have been wasting money – the City may say they don’t have enough money, but apparently they found enough to give new police recruits that $20,000 signing bonus! Here’s an example from the Borough: Remember when we tried to tell them they did not need more schools? They went ahead and built 2 new ones – now, due to low enrollment, increased private & home schooling, and financial mismanagement, they are considering closing two schools This just illustrates what ITA has been saying for 30 years – that the financial woes of both the city and the borough are not caused by a lack of money, but by a lack of good management.

In 2011, Fairbanks had a total population of 32,070, which included 15,071 citizens of the Fort Wainwright post, 8,741 of which lived on post, which left only 23,329 actual city residents. The numbers have not changed very much since then. Since the post handles their own police and fire services (not counting mutual aid situations) city police and fire personnel are not spread anywhere near as thin as they claim. A table in the FBI 2010 Crime in the United States report shows that areas that tend to have higher costs per officer traditionally have fewer officers. The city likes to talk about a population of over 32,000 residents, but they are including the military to whom they do not provide services. Sadly, the only reason they included them was one of greed - to get more revenue sharing from the state (which was based on population).

When the voters instituted the caps, both the city and borough claimed they would destroy services, like pools, libraries, and schools, etc. In no time at all, it become apparent that the threats were just scare tactics – no services were lost! The tax money the city wants from you now is not for new services or even new equipment - it goes to higher wages and benefit packages instead of something that helps you, like perhaps eliminating the garbage fee for city residents? Have you been getting more scare tactics from the fire department? City Ordinance 6047 reveals how they plan to spend extra taxes –

Note: Very few city workers actually live in the city, almost all choose to live outside, thus avoiding the city taxes that pay their wages.

Proposition B on the City Ballot October 3 is only the first step. If the city voters approve that proposition and allow the city officials to gut the peoples’ tax cap, the borough will soon follow suit! Already we have newspaper articles quoting the borough mayor saying he no longer supports the Borough Revenue Cap. Karl Kassel may claim he has changed his mind about the Borough Revenue Cap, but it is still your only protection when the Assembly is led by and filled with tax and spend bureaucrats!

Endorsements from the Interior Taxpayers Assoc.

The 4 council members mentioned earlier, as well as the Borough Mayor and most of the Assembly, are good examples of why it is so important to do your research and vote good people into office!

Here are our suggestions for October 3.

City Council:

   Seat E: Jerry Cleworth

   Seat F: David Pruhs

City Propositions:

   A  YES (to protect our neighborhoods and children from the marijuana industry) It only stops businesses from locating in the city limits - it does NOT affect legalization, or growing for personal and medical use.

   B  NO (to stop the city from raising your tax cap and taxing you more.)

Borough Assembly:

   Seat D: Hank Bartos,

   Seat E: Ryan Smith,

   Seat H: Aaron Lojewski.

Borough Proposition

   1: YES (to protect our neighborhoods and children from the marijuana industry) It only stops businesses from locating in the borough - it does NOT affect legalization, or growing for personal and medical use.

This communication was paid for by the Interior Taxpayers’ Association, Inc., Fairbanks, AK, Donna Gilbert, President, who has approved this message. The 3 top contributors of ITA this election season are Donna Gilbert, Robert Perkins, and Dennis Wise, all of Fairbanks. This NOTICE TO VOTERS is required by Alaska law. We certify that this communication is not authorized, paid for, or approved by any candidate.

[Tax Cap Explanation]

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