What are Service Areas?
The Municipality’s Charter requires that our local government operate under a service area concept, which means that residents in particular areas must vote to approve taxes to pay for service(s).
By law, some services must be offered on an areawide basis: education, health and environmental protection, social services, animal control, library, museum, public transportation, emergency medical services, planning and zoning, property appraisal, and tax collection. Other services require a vote of the people in a specific area. These include road maintenance, fire and police protection, and parks and recreation.
Each service area has a separate fund to keep track of revenue and spending. While there are more than 30 different service areas and corresponding funds, there are five major ones:
- Areawide: covers the entire area within the Municipality and is used for all general government activities except those provided for in other service areas;
- Anchorage Metropolitan Police Service Area: covers most of the Municipality except for Girdwood and Turnagain Arm;
- Anchorage Fire Service Area: there are separate fire service areas for Anchorage, Chugiak, and Girdwood;
- Anchorage Roads and Drainage Service Area (ARDSA): In addition to ARDSA, there also are more than twenty-seven (27) separate smaller funds for budgeting the various roads and drainage services areas. Six (6) have full maintenance and construction authority: Anchorage Roads and Drainage Service Area (ARDSA); Chugiak, Birchwood, Eagle River Rural Road Services Area (CBERRSA); Glen Alps Service Area; Girdwood Valley Service Area; South Golden View Rural Road Service Area (RRSA); and Mt. Park/Robin Hill Rural Road Service Area (RRSA). The others are Limited Road Service Areas (LRSA) and only have authority to do maintenance; and
- Anchorage Bowl Parks and Recreation Service Area (Fund 161): additionally there are separate service areas for parks and recreation in Eagle River/Chugiak, and Girdwood
A Mill Levy (or tax rate) is set for each service area. Nearly all property is in multiple service areas, which when combined is called a Taxing District (Anchorage Bowl / Eagle River and Chugiak). The property tax amount due each year is based on adding together each service area’s mill levy.
Taxes collected in one service area can’t be used to pay for services in another service area. (i.e. taxes collected for roads can’t be spent on police; taxes for Eagle River/Chugiak parks can’t be used outside of Eagle River/Chugiak).
2011 Budget By Service Area