What does the Borough "Tax
The following was a paper which was
available at our Fair booth in August, 1998. It is our explanation of how the Borough Tap
Cap works. We tried to make it as simple and clear as possible. Please let us know if you
have any other questions. To look at the actual tax cap initiative,
Borough Tax Cap
The Borough Tax Cap is actually a cap on the total revenue the borough
can take into its coffers in any one year. The total is based on the amount of revenue
received in the previous year, plus a cost of living increase.
However, the "cap" is not a total cap! To be legal, certain exceptions had to
be provided for - things that are allowed to raise the cap. They are as follows:
New buildings and land coming onto the tax rolls
New payments on bonds approved by the voters
Payments for services approved by the voters
New legal judgments entered against the borough
Expenses for emergencies
You may have noticed that your property
taxes have gone up over the years that the cap has been in place.
Most of the increase is due to voter approved bond issues (new schools,
library, etc) and new voter approved services such as the Carlson Center. If we had not
had the tax cap in place, you would have seen a much steeper increase in taxes. As it is,
if the Assembly decided to start a sales tax without allowing you to vote on it, they
would have to lower property taxes in the same amount. In order for the sales tax to be
added without decreasing other taxes, they would have to allow you to vote on the sales
tax as a new tax, so the tax cap is forcing them to allow you to vote on new taxes.
In the Fairbanks North Star Borough, Alaska, the tax cap is in place right now. There
is a similar one in the Fairbanks City Charter, where it cannot be changed without a vote
of the people. The borough does not have a charter to protect the cap, but state law says
that anything put on by voter initiative is protected from change or elimination for two
years. For that reason, we must renew the cap every two years.
What YOU can do
Every two years, please help us get the thousands of signatures we
need to get this put on the ballot so the voters can decide if they want
to extend the protections of the tax cap for two more years. The petition can be found at the big blue ITA booth in the Borealis Building at the
Tanana Valley Fair. Thanks!
Time to Renew the
Borough Tax Cap!
The Interior Taxpayers' Association
once again, October 2010, sponsored an initiative petition drive to extend
the protections of the Borough Tax Cap for two more years. Put into borough
ordinance by a petition drive of the people, state law only protects it for
two years. In October of this year, it will not go away, but its protection
will. We asked borough voters to stop by the ITA booth in the
Borealis Building during the fair to sign the petition (Fbks, Ft. WW, Eielson,
and North Pole voters, too). Our goal was 3000 signatures at the Fair. The
voters turned out in mass and we went over our goal. Now you just need
to remember to vote YES, October 5.
In 2011 we will need to do the same, for the 2012 ballot. That
will put us back on our schedule of getting the signatures a year early each
year, to avoid the rush of having to have the signatures right after the
fair, or even, in some years, needing them before the fair is over.
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