What about our deal?

Anchorage Mayor Ethan Berkowitz is having a fit of pique because the House Finance Committee voted to eliminate state reimbursement of local school bond debt across Alaska.

The mayor told KTUU the move is dishonorable; a breach of an obligation; that a deal, by golly, is a deal.

Make no mistake, if the state ditches the reimbursements it would drop a $43 million bill in Anchorage’s lap. That likely means more than a $240 property tax increase for the owner of an average $350,000 home.

The pain from dropping the reimbursements would be felt statewide. Alaska’s school districts are carrying outstanding debt of about $900 million.

Who could have see this coming? Almost anybody who was paying attention. The state, now facing a $1.6 billion budget gap, never guaranteed to pay bond costs. Never. So, given that, why did city and school officials bond us into this position? What did they think was going to happen when oil prices dropped and the state came up short?

The same people who over the years have gotten into this mess now want to continue tapping state savings accounts and dip into the Permanent Fund earnings reserve to ensure the status remains quo. What happens when there is absolutely nothing left? What then?

Yes, a deal is a deal – except for oil taxes and exploration credits, mind you – but the deal our elected officials made with us to spend our money wisely and within reason is a deal long broken.

Talk about dishonorable.

7 Responses to What about our deal?

  1. Mike Deaver April 10, 2019 at 6:36 am

    Ethan ……. always going to bat for the coming folk.
    I also have some ocean front property for sale.

  2. R-Dubya April 10, 2019 at 8:14 am

    Lisa / Dan / Don …. “What about our deal?”
    If you’re going classify yourself as a Republican, then act accordingly. I challenge you review and abide by the AK GOP ‘Mission Statement’ and ‘Statement of Principals’ available here … http://www.alaskagop.net/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/06132018-ARP-PLATFORM.pdf

    As for Burkwitz and the Politburo (aka – Assembly) …. Thanks for making reckless decisions and the continuance of pursuing an endless amount of debt, strapping Anchorage taxpayers with greater obligations.

  3. Marlin Savage April 10, 2019 at 9:12 am

    Too many kids born with a silver spoon in their mouth become politicians. From an early age they are accustomed to spending other peoples’ money………….

  4. J. Gill April 10, 2019 at 11:40 am

    If a deal is a deal Mr. Mayor, how about standing up for everyone in Anchorage and insisting the tax cap be honored. No more end runs around it. I don’t think I’ve ever heard a peep out of the mayor voicing his support for stopping all these taxes and bond initiatives that circumvent the tax cap. The mayor reveals himself every bit as much by what he doesn’t stand up for as he does when he voices his support for what he and his supporters insist we continue to fund. Pathetic.

  5. Morrigan April 10, 2019 at 2:16 pm

    Go ahead, State, ditch reimbursements, drop that $43 million bill in Anchorage’s lap, do it now!
    Dropping a $43 million bill on Anchorage’s bloated education-government complex might be the best thing that ever happened to Anchorage.

    What productive Anchorage citizen will pay an extra $250 tax on his home, or pay a double-digit sales tax which’ll pop up as a magical solution just to prop up a junta which despises him?
    With any luck, Anchorage’s education-government complex will topple under its own weight after productive citizens leave like they did in the mid 80’s and somebody figures out the ones left behind can’t be taxed enough to feed the monster.
    This could work, let’s get it done, State!

  6. Observer April 11, 2019 at 12:16 pm

    Mayor Ethan may be upset with the school debt reimbursement matter but it is a simple thing to pass that on to the city’s taxpayers. The thing he most upset about is the loss of the alcohol tax — that would provided millions in additional feel-good money to spread around for the Mayor’s favorites.

  7. Marlin Savage April 11, 2019 at 2:38 pm

    Re: Observer

    Guess Berky hasn’t read the local law with the $50 fine. “When residents give street people money, they inadvertently enable the person to continue a dangerous and unhealthy lifestyle,”


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