Legislation aimed at encouraging affordable housing has passed the Alaska House.
Juneau Rep. Cathy Muñoz sponsored HB 264 at the request of local contractors and the Alaska State Home Building Association who say current tax laws hinder development.
The bill would allow municipalities to defer property tax increases on subdivided lots until they are sold or have commercial value. Munoz says taxes can be five to 10 times higher as soon as the land is subdivided.
“In communities like Juneau that experience a limited land base and high housing costs, that extra carrying cost is a huge deterrent to new subdivision and housing development,” Munoz says. “So this is meant to defer the increasing tax burden, but ultimately the cities benefit because they get that tax burden back, plus extra tax due to new housing in their communities.”
The legislation also allows local governments to negotiate payment terms when the deferred taxes are due.
HB 264 is on its way to the Senate.
- Wayne Price thinks if there is going to be a wider healing among Natives in America, the U.S. government needs to apologize for the devastating toll the boarding schools took.
- Alaska’s economic woes are affecting all corners of the state, especially communities that were banking on an Arctic boom.
- The dead included one police officer from a local university. At least nine other people were hurt, including four police officers.
- Studies recommended relocating villages like Newtok, Kivalina and Shishmaref. But more than 10 years later they are still there, with waves getting higher and storms getting stronger.