At its regular meeting on Thursday, the Kodiak City Council is voting on advancing an ordinance that would raise the city sales tax cap from $750 to $3,000. If passed, the ordinance will move to its second reading and public hearing. The council postponed the vote at an earlier meeting so it could hold a public forum and get input from city residents on its budget situation.
City Manager Mike Tvenge pointed out, at the council’s work session last night, that changing the ordinance could alter when the new sales tax cap would go into effect.
“If we want to make any amendments to that at the second reading any substantial changes to this ordinance will have to be redone at another public hearing. So if our intention is still to implement something by January 1, which what all of this is written about we’re going to miss that deadline.”
The council also discussed other steps it could take to balance its budget. Like raising its mill rate, reassessing tax exemptions, and establishing a city of Kodiak business license.
Mayor Pat Branson says the city’s budget has already been cut a lot and the council is going to have to make some tough decisions.
“We haven’t raised the mill rate in the city for 32 years, we’ve had harbor rates be quite low until recently. So, We pay for the kind of community we want and the kind of services we want and for many years we didn’t have to do it. The state was flush with money and so was the city and that’s not the case anymore.”
The Kodiak City Council will have its first vote on raising the sales tax cap this Thursday at its regular meeting. It’ll begin at 7:30 pm and be held in assembly chambers at the Kodiak Island Borough building.