Assembly to Address Sales Tax, Non-Profit Funding

Maggie Wall/KMXT

The proposed borough-wide sales tax would be placed on the October 5th municipal election ballot if the Kodiak Island Borough Assembly decides to move forward with it tonight.

Assembly members have said that the tax would help to pay the cost of the $80 million high school which was approved by voters in 2009.

As the measure is written right now, the tax would not exceed 2 percent and could not be increased without further voter approval. It would be similar to the tax in the city, and would stand alone for sales, rents and services outside the city. Inside, the borough’s tax would be added on top of the city’s current 6 percent sales tax.

Borough Mayor Jerome Selby said during a recent assembly work session, that this is the time for people with ideas to come forward and speak. He says the $80 million is the biggest capitol project the Kodiak community has ever faced.

The borough assembly meets tonight at 7:30 in the assembly chambers. As usual, KMXT will broadcast the meeting live.

If the borough adopts a 2 percent sales tax, with similar exemptions as the City of Kodiak, the borough could avoid up to 4 mils in additional property tax. Also, by having a sales tax, the costs would be spread throughout the community and not just on the property owners.

If the borough assembly approves a sales tax measure tonight it will be in "first reading" which means it will advance to a public hearing at the next regular assembly meeting.

In terms of non-profit funding, assembly members face the annual ritual of awarding funding to local non-profit organizations that provide services that many residents depend on. Many of these educational, cultural and heath services cannot be provided through the borough’s regular budget.

The three organizations with the largest requests are: Providence Counseling Center (Safe Harbor) which requested $86,000; the Kodiak Women’s Resource and Crisis Center which requested $65,000; and the Brother Francis Shelter, which requested $50,000.

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