Empowering Alaska’s Boroughs & Municipalities: A case for returning 5% of State controlled lands back to local Boroughs & Municipalities: 

by Robert Yundt
March 19, 2024

The State of Alaska controls a whopping 11.5 million acres in the Mat-Su Borough, 3.4 million in Fairbanks, 2.2 million of the Kenai Peninsula Borough & 576 thousand in the Municipality of Anchorage to name a few. Worst of all, the State doesn’t pay local governments a single cent in property taxes to help with local educational or road maintenance expenses.  

Alaska’s vast landmass is largely under federal & state control which limits availability of land for Residents to purchase, housing developments, trails, parks, new schools or other much needed infrastructure vital to growing communities. This scarcity has contributed to soaring housing prices, making it increasingly difficult for Alaskans, especially those in rural areas, to find affordable housing options. By returning a modest 5% of State controlled lands back to local communities we can unlock new opportunities for housing development & help alleviate the housing affordability crisis. 

Empowering local governments with control over a portion of these lands is not just about addressing housing challenges; it’s also about fostering greater autonomy & decision-making at the local level. Boroughs & Municipalities are better equipped to understand their unique local needs & can create development plans accordingly. This localized approach promotes efficient use of land, infrastructure development & community-driven solutions. 

Returning lands to local Boroughs aligns with the Alaskan principle of self-determination, allowing Residents to shape their own futures & take charge of the local development trajectory. It strengthens bonds between citizens & local governments, creating a sense of ownership & responsibility for community well-being.  

Furthermore, the economic benefits of increased housing availability cannot be overstated. Affordable housing attracts & retains a diverse workforce, supports small businesses & stimulates economic growth at the local level. It also creates opportunities for young families, professionals & seniors to live & contribute to their thriving communities. 

In addition to housing, the returned lands can be utilized for a range of community-enhancing initiatives, such as parks, recreational areas & infrastructure projects. This multifaceted approach maximizes the social, economic, & environmental benefits of land use planning, creating holistic & resilient communities. 

The return of 5% of Alaska’s controlled lands reflects a commitment to balanced & sustainable development, where communities have the resources & authority to shape their own destinies. As Alaska navigates the complexities of the 21st century, embracing such policies is essential to building a brighter future for all Alaskans. 

Thank you for taking the time to visit my page & learn about my campaign for Alaska State Senate Seat N in Wasilla. I am running with a core vision of statewide fiscally responsibility, family values & Alaska first policies that will benefit all Residents from every community & walk of life. 

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