Sunday, January 30, 2011

Anchorage Assemblyman Chris Birch Explains Proposed Taxpayers Protection Act, Which Would Lower The Baseline For The Property Tax Cap

On January 31st, 2011, the Anchorage Daily News published a guest column by Anchorage Assemblyman Chris Birch entitled "Proposal clarifies base for figuring tax cap". Birch sets forth his justification for AO 2010-92, which would change the baseline for the tax cap, resulting in lower property taxes for most residents. The Anchorage Assembly is expected to vote on whether to put this measure on the April 2011 municipal election ballot during the February 1st Assembly Meeting; because it involves a charter amendment, eight Yes votes are necessary for approval.

The tax cap was passed by voters in 1983 in order to mitigate large swings in property tax changes and curb overspending; current school board member Don Smith is considered the "father of the tax cap" since as an Assemblyman at the time, he was instrumental in making it happen. The cap limits how much taxes can increase from year to year by using a "base" to calculate the next year's tax cap. For the first 23 years, the "base" was calculated to be the amount of property taxes actually collected the prior year, rather than how much government could have collected.

However, in 2006, the tax-hungry Begich Administration changed how the tax cap was calculated by using the higher number for the base -- the amount of property taxes that could have been collected instead of the amount actually collected. Using this higher number guaranteed a higher tax cap and exposed taxpayers to the potential of dramatic increases in property taxes, contrary to the cap's intent. The Begich Administration further inflated the base calculation by including in its higher number money received from state revenue sharing, which is money not even collected from taxpayers. Birch notes that since 2006, the tax cap was artificially inflated by $76 million because of the baseline change, and taxpayers would have been stuck with the bill if city officials had decided to spend it

AO 2010-92 would simply restore the old way of calculating the cap by inserting the following subparagraph in AMC Section 14.03:

"The base amount for calculating the next year’s tax increase limit shall be the amount of property taxes to be collected in the current year".

Back on November 6th, 2009, Assemblyman Patrick Flynn published an excellent primer on the tax cap; definitely recommended reading.

While the Municipal Taxpayers League has been an early supporter of tax cap reform, Birch already has picked up a key ally in Anchorage Mayor Dan Sullivan, who expressed his support for the change on January 12th. Other expected Assembly supporters include Jennifer Johnston, Bill Starr, Debbie Ossiander, and Dick Traini. On the other hand, Mike Gutierrez seems likely to vote No at this point.

Update February 2nd: Proposed Taxpayers Protection Act fails; rejected by a 6-5 vote. Voting against it was Patrick Flynn, Mike Gutierrez, Elvi Gray-Jackson, Harriet Drummond, Dick Traini, and Paul Honeman. An 8-3 Yes vote was needed to put it on the ballot.

Chris Birch, who has served two terms, is one of the two Assembly Members representing South Anchorage (Section 6), and is up for re-election this year. He filed a letter of intent on November 30th, 2010 (click HERE, type in 2011 in the box labeled "Candidate For", then click Search - you'll see the whole list of municipal candidates). A presumptive opponent is former Teamsters official Michael Kenny, who filed a letter of intent on November 16th. Kenny ran unsuccessfully against Birch in 2008.

This is a great opportunity to undo the damage inflicted by former mayor Mark Begich to the integrity of the tax cap in 2006. It is particularly inappropriate to include non-taxpayer revenues in the baseline to deliberately inflate the tax cap. Contact information for all Assembly Members available HERE.


  1. Have the bastardos show you the (law)(hahahahahaha)that says a MAN or WOMAN is liable to pay property [tax].hahahahahaha.Remember the word [PERSON]does not apply[MAN/WOMAN]to you.Hold your middle finger up and tell the bastardos to rotate.

  2. Many people have ruined their lives when they could have prevented it ....
    but for want of opening their minds.

  3. A corporation is an artificial, immortal individual. For an organization, e.g.: a church, seeking recognition
    of tax exemption under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code (and who knows what, in CRA), in
    order to be an ‘organization’ in the legal sense, it is necessary to incorporate. As soon as it incorporates it
    becomes a commercial entity and applies for and obtains an IRS 501(c)(3) status ruling (remaining nonpolitical
    and non controversial) and it retains its tax exempt status. Essentially, the state then runs the church.
    If you think your pastor/ rabbi/ priest/ minister can speak his mind, think again. Yet, churches are
    automatically exempt from Federal Income Tax. Contributions to churches are deductible by donors so why
    would a church apply for gov’t stamp of approval when it was already free? A church that is tax exempt is
    not a ‘tax exempt church’ but a religious organization which applies for corporate status thereby going from
    ‘lawful assembly of private citizens’ to that of a ‘legal gathering of public subjects’.

  4. Unfortunately, many people think the ‘American Government’ are the terrorists. There is NO American
    Government and hasn’t been in scores of years. To what they refer is USG, the belligerent, foreign
    corporation masquerading as ‘the American Government’. It has named itself The Government of the United
    States of America for the sole purpose of conning the American people into believing that it represents them
    and that it is its government. The USG, a private, fictitious, for-profit corporation, has no more to do with the
    American people or the American territory than does SEARS, another private, fictitious, for-profit
    corporation. ‘Americans’, which includes those of us in Canada, have long been subjected to the terrorism of
    the corporations USG and Government of Canada. No one alive today has experienced a representative
    government – which brings us to another point: why would anyone vote in a foreign election for a foreign
    corporation? There is no one for whom to vote who could possibly represent us. Our country has been
    under siege for so long I wonder if we will ever get it back.

  5. Unlimited Credit
    The amount of credit the feds earned from investing in securities the credit borrowed from us via the
    registration of our births has pre-paid anything you might ever want or need. We are the creditors, and the
    federal mafia is the debtor. They owe us interest for using our credit, yet, since they (the Public) are bankrupt,
    there is no ‘substance money’ so we, as creditors, will have to get paid by taking equity, in the form of our
    houses and cars, as the ‘set-off’ – the balancing of the account. They owe us interest on our credit which
    they are using to pay for the manufacturing of all the goods and services we are buying. We have already
    paid for the product before we buy it. We are still the principals of the securities because said investment was
    never disclosed to us. The feds are hoping we won’t request the profits of our investments, however, if and
    when we do, it is substantial enough that we would never have to work again. We could never spend it all.
    The government floated a bond against our future earnings by using our birth registrations as the
    collateral for our ‘promise to pay’. Income tax is just their having ‘educated’ you to pay the interest on the
    loan YOU lent THEM. When we access our Direct Treasury Accounts, those held at the BC/ FRB under our
    SINs/ SSNs, we will no longer ‘have to’ work. Another jew hocus-pocus.

  6. you Stevens-No one owes taxes. Dont be afraid of the little jew hocus-pocus.Take the time to look at the tape.

  7. you don't have to pay federal/state income tax? (2)dario strawman freedom sovereignty UCC-1 (3)federal reserve and irs=private corporations.