by Jason Lamb
Friday, January 29, 2010
ANCHORAGE, Alaska -- In a Friday meeting, the Anchorage Assembly tackled a proposal introduced by three of its members last week: a suggestion to allow the city to raise the amount of money you can deduct off your home's value before the city hands you a tax bill.
Right now, that amount is $20,000. The proposal is to raise the exemption amount to $50,000. Those for this change say it will mean real savings to single-family homeowners, while those against it say it may sound good -- but the devil is in the details.
"What I've heard is a lot of complaints from people that their residential property taxes are too high," said Assembly member Harriet Drummond.
"Certain people will benefit, and certain people won't," said city assessor Marty McGee.
The city brings in a lot of money each year, some from homes and some from commercial businesses. Officials say a bigger tax exemption would reduce taxes collected from homes, forcing businesses to pay more and potentially pushing costs on to customers.