February 6, 2012
Fairness for Local Property Tax Payers
You have probably heard about the recent controversy surrounding property tax exemptions for teachers and employees of religious organizations. Representative Berta Gardner and I feel this situation is unfair to other taxpayers, and have introduced House Bill 305
, the Property Tax Fairness Act, to fix it.
Sen. Hollis French and Rep. Lindsey Holmes in a joint Judiciary Committee hearing on the Coastal Management initiative
In 2006, the Legislature significantly broadened the definition of religious property by including exemptions for the residence of “an educator in a private religious or parochial school.” This legislation also expanded the definition of “minister” and broadened the ordination standard for ministers. It also made these tax exemptions mandatory for all Alaska municipalities.
The Property Tax Fairness Act removes the religious teacher exemption, and returns the religious tax exemption of a residence back to “the residence of a bishop, priest, rabbi, minister, or religious official of a recognized religious organization.” The proposed bill does not interfere with the broad support for tax exemptions for churches or the homes of religious officials. It does, however, make sure that your property taxes aren’t unfairly raised to pay a special benefit for one small group.
Let us know what you think! The bill has a hearing in the House Community and Regional Affairs committee this Thursday morning at 8:00 am. If you would like to submit comments to the committee, you can e-mail them to Terry.Harvey@legis.state.ak.us
, or to testify you can go to the Anchorage Legislative Information Office at 716 W. 4th Avenue, 2nd floor, at 8:00 am this Thursday, February 9.
The Alaska Permanent Fund is looking for college students to hire as summer interns to work with several of their external investment managers across the country. This is an exciting opportunity for students to gain great experience and be involved with one of Alaska’s most important assets. For more information go to their website
or call Joan Cahill at (907) 796-1541.
Keep in Touch!
As always, I am eager to hear your thoughts and concerns. Please contact my office when you have questions, concerns or comments. It’s located in Juneau at State Capitol, Room 405. My e-mail address is Rep.Lindsey.Holmes@legis.state.ak.us
and our toll-free phone number here in Juneau is (888) 465-4919. Thank you for your interest, I look forward to hearing from you.
Alaska State Representative
District 26 - Anchorage