The newspaper headline – “Coming this spring: Tax cuts for Anchorage homeowners, but tax hikes for business owners” – was a little misleading. It should have said, “Coming this spring: Shrimpy tax cuts for residential homeowners, increased prices for just about everything else.”
When voters approved Proposition 11 in the recent election, a residential property tax exemption, they may have saved a few bucks – about $270 on an average $350,000 home, the Anchorage Daily News reports – but they increased property taxes on commercial buildings and apartments.
Businesses and landlords generally pay no property taxes. They simply pass them on to customers and tenants in the form of higher prices and rents. While Mayor Ethan Berkowitz peddled the exemption idea as a way to reduce the load on the city’s property taxpayers, it actually amounts to a simple shift-and-shaft proposition.