Fairbanks mayor wants expansion delayed

Posted: Monday, November 24, 2008

FAIRBANKS - Fairbanks Mayor Terry Strle is calling for delayed action on the city's planned expansion.

She wants to hold off until after the 2009 election and promote a general sales tax in the mean time.

The mayor's proposed sales tax would eliminate city property taxes - something Strle believes would be an incentive for business and Fairbanks North Star Borough residents to join the city.

The sales tax initiative has failed multiple times in the past two decades. Last year, 71 percent of city residents voted against the idea.

Strle said she's up to the challenge of trying again.

She says she plans to ask the Fairbanks City Council to postpone the annexation plans.

"While annexation and a charter change are two separate issues, I believe that replacing the property tax with a well-written sales tax would make annexation attractive," Strle said in a prepared statement.

Still, the mayor maintains the two are separate issues.

"I do not want annexation to be about sales tax," she said. "We're looking at how to minimize strain among the community as a whole and work together. We can eliminate a lot of opposition to annexation if we were to have a sales tax."

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