Vote Coast Today
Today is primary election day and I will vote to bring back the state coastal zone management program. It worked for 30 years until our lawmakers let it run out. It seems to me that if the oil companies are out-spending the coastal mayors, fishermen, and concerned citizens 7-1 there must be a reason, and that reason probably has nothing to do with protecting the Lynn Canal fishery, or the beach Pearl and I walk on every day. Sure we share our coasts with industry, I just think the residents should have a seat at the decision making table when it comes to coastal development, just like we used to, for thirty years. Thirty big development years, I might add-- Also, there is a ballot measure to give municipalities the option of raising the property tax exemption on homes from 20,000 to 50,000 statewide.(This measure has nothing to do with the statewide senior property tax exemption, anyone can apply for this one.) Even the mayor of Anchorage is opposed to it. Dan Sullivan says it won't help the people who need a break the most-- renters. Cities and towns could also lose a critical source of revenue. In Haines, property tax pays for our school, for starters. The argument for it is to give homeowners who appeal their tax bill, a bigger break to keep up with the cost of living. On the surface, is sounds kind of great. Who likes taxes? But think about schools, libraries, EMTs-- and if they don't stir your heart strings, think about your own interests-- just who will get the exemption? Your local elected officials will decide. How will they do it? And why? If over taxation is an issue, then reduce the tax bill for everyone, don't allow exemptions for some of us, and not others.