Tax abatement ordinance for downtown housing, $22 Million bond sale okayed by Assembly

    Juneau, Alaska (KINY) - In an effort to spur housing development downtown, the Juneau Assembly Monday night passed a tax abatement ordinance for potential developers.

    To be eligible for the plan, they must be planning on adding at least four residential units and they have to either be building a new building or taking over a condemned one.

    The Assembly amended the ordinance first to exclude property owners who would use their newly built residences as short-term rentals, such as Airbnb.   They also moved to include 6th Street in the original area eligible for tax abatement.

    The Assembly approved the issuance and sale of general obligation bonds not to exceed $22 Million.

    The sale would combine the $15 Million bond approved by voters last year for maintenance and repair of schools, parks, streets, and other public infrastructure and the $7 Million okayed in 2019 for improvements to Centennial Hall.

    Finance Director Jeff Rogers told members there is interest among local residents to participate in the bond sale.

    The Assembly also approved a project list to send to the Legislature to be included in a potential state bond sale or the capital budget.  The list was amended to increase the amount for the proposed Lemon Creek bike path to $2 Million.

    The Assembly unanimously passed an ordinance that would give the Community Development Department the authority to suspend or revoke a marijuana business’s license

    This power would be used in cases such as if the business fails to pay their property or sales taxes.

    Due to how marijuana laws are structured, this ordinance gives the city the same power it has over other businesses now.

    An appropriation ordinance of $75,000 to go to the Zach Gordon Youth Center and the Tlingit Haida Regional Housing Authority to operate an emergency shelter and rapid rehousing facility for runaway and homeless youth at the city and borough's Hurlock Street property was approved.



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