Renters' contribution to property taxes are minuscule

Posted: Tuesday, July 17, 2007

I assure Rebecca Smith ("Renters carry as much weight as property owners," June 21) that I had considered renters' indirect contribution to the property tax foundation. But because it's nebulous, it's much harder to identify.

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Some may have a $2,500-a-month view. Maybe three couples share a $1,500-a-month condo, and maybe another has a $100-a-month tent site at Thane. They are all able to vote.

It would help the readers if a person writing in support of a proposition costing several million dollars could show that he or she were going to stay around for the next decade or more to help pay for it. Nevertheless, when a renter votes to spend community dollars, he or she doesn't incur any personal liability; that's probably why the owner gets the tax credit.

Very few states offer renters any tax relief, and Alaska isn't one of them. (There was a renter's rebate program for seniors and disabled veterans at one time, but it hasn't been funded for some years.)

So, until our government recognizes the renter's contribution, Smith's argument is going to fall on deaf ears.

Skip Lundstrom


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