The Anchorage Economic Development Corporation (AEDC) Board of Directors supports the April 2023 ballot proposal to dedicate marijuana tax for child care and early education.
A recent research project, commissioned by AEDC and titled “Choose Anchorage”, identified one of Anchorage’s primary weaknesses as childcare and identified Anchorage’s declining working age adult population as a significant contributor to stagnation in Anchorage’s economic growth. The AEDC Board of Directors believes that the lack of quality, affordable child care is a barrier to job growth, will decrease labor participation rates, particularly among women, and put further pressure on Anchorage’s extremely tight labor market.
Per the ballot language and the amended AO 2022-17(S-2), this proposition would dedicate the net proceeds of the current retail marijuana sales tax to support and advance child care and early education, excepting the marijuana tax from the tax increase limitation and lowering the tax cap one time in 2024 by one million dollars. In addition, an Accountability Board would be created for the purpose of supporting and advancing child care and early education in Anchorage. The net proceeds of the tax would be dedicated to:
- Creating access to child care and early education programs;
- Funding reading programs for child care and early education programs;
- Providing resources to increase funding, livable wages, training and staffing for child care and early education programs; and
- Prioritizing the utilization of existing closed school district facilities before other facilities are considered for the use of these funds.
The AEDC Board of Directors supports passage of Proposition 14, the proposal to establish the Accountability Board of Child Care and Early Education and dedicate the retail marijuana sales tax to child care and early education programs.