Council: Seniors are burden

At its Dec. 7 meeting, the Homer City Council passed Resolution 15-111 which requests the Alaska State Legislature to amend the statue relating to property tax exemption for homes of seniors. Rep. Paul Seaton has drafted a House Bill removing seniors from the mandatory exemption list.    

I am offended by the council’s resolution on many levels.

It implies that seniors are “moving to Alaska to retire or retiring in place” because of the availability of high level medical care. REALLY!

They further state the increased senior population places a burden of municipal services on other property owners.  While they were gracious enough to provide a clause high- lighting the community’s benefits of our senior population the resolution summarizes by stating the increased tax burden is untenable given declining revenue.

We would be well served if the council and administration focused more on reduction of capital and operating costs of the city. Our local economy also would benefit greatly by the city’s support of business development rather than making it difficult.

I think most Alaskans know there is a reduction in funds available to the State of Alaska, however I would point out to the council a report by the Alaska Commission on Aging found, as a whole seniors are among the highest contributors to the state, accounting for $2.4 billion to Alaska’s economy, calling the retirement industry one of Alaska’s top economic sectors.

Norm Story

45-year resident of Homer

(Retired in place)