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After more than 3 hours of debate Tuesday, the Anchorage Assembly approved a $520 million operating budget for the next fiscal year.
It's a $12 million increase from last year's and includes $500,000 to address homelessness in the municipality. Mayor Ethan Berkowitz says part of the increase also comes from costs shifted onto Anchorage by state budget cuts. Even so, the budget includes a reduction in private property taxes.
"What we have is we have more police officers than we had last year, we’re having to absorb the cost of the SAP program, and aside from those, it’s a smaller budget, and I think property tax owners are going to see significant relief, the order of $300 to 400 for the average house in Anchorage," said Berkowitz.