APOC considering fining tax cap group

Posted: Friday, August 04, 2000

ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Alaska's campaign watchdog agency is considering fining the pro-tax-cap initiative group $50 a day for registration irregularities.

That includes questions about its name and the identities of its officials.

The Alaska Public Offices Commission in a letter sent Wednesday to ''Tax Cap Yes'' attorney Ken Jacobus noted the organization has been inconsistent with its name.

It originally called itself ''Alaskans for Property Tax Reform.'' It failed to register its chairman, Jim Crawford, after he was announced to the media in May.

The agency said a fund-raising letter sent by Crawford last month under the ''Tax Cap Yes'' letterhead also failed to disclose who paid for the mailing, as required by law.

''No one should've sent out a fund-raising letter without a disclaimer on it,'' Jacobus told the Anchorage Daily News on Thursday.

The organization also was inconsistent in the identity of its treasurer, according to documents filed with the Alaska Public Offices Commission. Sometimes it listed its treasurer as its president, Uwe Kalenka, and sometimes as Anchorage lawyer Karen Bretz.

The Public Offices Commission plans to take up the matter at its next meeting, which tentatively is scheduled for September.

''Tax Cap Yes'' is supporting Measure No. 4 on the November general election ballot.

The initiative would cap property taxes at 1 percent of assessed value in Anchorage, Juneau and Sitka, and at 2 percent in places with overlapping boroughs and cities like Palmer, Soldotna and Fairbanks.

It also would end annual reassessments adjusting property values to the current market value unless a property is sold or ''newly constructed.''

The measure is modeled after California's Proposition 13, passed by voters in 1978.

Supporters contend that it will protect homeowners from increasing tax burdens.

The threatened legal action by the Alaska Public Offices Commission staff follows a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the measure filed last week by Nome Mayor Leo Rasmussen and some other Alaskans.

Other opponents have challenged the measure as a badly conceived California import brought to Alaska with little thought for conditions here.

Jacobus said the organization will respond by officially changing its corporate name to Tax Cap Yes Inc., effectively killing the original identity.

Jacobus conceded that the organization structure was confusing.

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