A bill sponsored by Rep. Mike Chenault, R-Nikiski, giving municipalities the ability to reduce tax assessments on property destroyed or damaged by disaster became the first law of the legislative session to be signed into law by Gov. Frank Murkowski.
House Bill 209 also broadens a municipality's authority to define disaster to include, for example, a fire or flood that occurs in the home.
"I'm proud to say this legislation simply gives the power back to the local governments," Chenault said in a press release Friday. "Communities should have the ability to relieve some of the anxiety facing individuals and families who are already coping with catastrophes.
"At stressful times, people should not have to be concerned with paying full taxes on destroyed property. This bill gives each local community the ability to act with compassion."
Alaska joins several other states in the country that have enacted similar legislation.
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