Southwest Alaska Policy Makers to Meet in Anchorage

The Southwest Alaska Municipal Conference, or SWAMC (swam-sea), begins its annual two-day gathering today. The conference addresses numerous regional issues ranging from fisheries to transportation to energy efficiency.

Trevor Brown from the Kodiak Chamber of Commerce sits on SWAMC’s board of directors. He says one resolution that has been submitted to the conference would request that the state legislature lower the interest rate that municipalities are required to tack on to refunds issued when a person protests their property tax in court and wins.

(SWAMC 1 :27 "This would match the rate to the current prime interest rate. They just feel that this eight percent, when it was put in, was at a time when interest rates were a lot higher and considering interest rates now are about half of that, around five percent, they feel would be a little more appropriate. It’s hard for municipalities to be paying an eight percent penalty when the prime rate is considerably less than that."

Senator Gary Stevens and Representative Alan Austerman are both expected to attend the conference. Kodiak Island Borough Assemblywoman Louise Stutes and Kathleen Totemoff from the City of Ouzinkie also sit on SWAMC’s board of directors.

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