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Elections preview: The tale of two Alaska primary measures

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August 27, 2012

JUNEAU, Alaska: The time to flock to the polls is almost here for Alaska residents. Tomorrow, August 28, is the state primary election, and for state voters that means two measures will be decided by later that evening.

Ballot Measure 1 and Ballot Measure 2 are on the voters' plates tomorrow, and below is a quick glance of what impacts each one would have if enacted by voters.

Ballot Measure 1

The facts

Alaska

If enacted...

The measure would allow a city or borough to raise the property tax exemption on a residence from $20,000 to at most $50,000. However, the tax exemption would have to be put to a vote and approved at a local election before it could be implemented.

Arguments

Support: Nadine Winters and Jim Whitaker, statement of support in the state primary election ballot measure pamphlet.

Local option, through the ordinance and local election process, would determine how much the exemption would be and whether or not to adjust the exemption each year for inflation. The increased exemption will allow for homeowner tax relief. It will also provide municipalities a tool when they consider diversifying their revenue stream.[1]

Opposition: Marty McGee, Assessor of the Municipality of Anchorage, statement of opposition in the state primary election ballot measure pamphlet.

A change in the exemption from the current $20,000 to the proposed $50,000 limit would create a reduction in the tax base and an increase in the tax rate. If approved, about $22 million in taxes will be shifted to other taxpayers. It comes as a surprise to most taxpayers that increasing the residential tax credit results in an increase in taxes for lower value homes.[1]

Ballot Measure 2

The facts

If enacted...

The measure would establish a new coastal management program in the state. Specifically, the management program that would be established would be formally called the Alaska Coastal Zone Management Program. Alaska is the only coastal state in the country without a federal coastal management plan, according to reports. Coastal programs are established to guarantee state and local participation in federal decisions on coastal issues that could potentially surface.

Arguments

Support: Juneau Mayor Bruce Botelho, sponsor of the initiative.

When the old program expired, Alaskans lost their say in how we manage our coastal resources. We introduced this initiative because Alaskans deserve a voice in what happens in our waters and industry deserves a predictable, streamlined process for developing Alaska’s coastal resources.[1]

Opposition: Kurt Fredriksson, chairman of the Vote No on Ballot Measure 2 committee.

Clearly, Alaska needs a stronger voice in federal decision making. Unfortunately, with this initiative and the Coastal Policy Board that is going to be created, the governor is nowhere to be seen. He gets to select from names provided by the regions, but he doesn’t sit on the board.[1]


Ballotpedia will update election results starting tomorrow when polls close at 8 p.m. AKDT

See also

Ballotpedia News



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