Borough Assembly to Address Property Taxes at Work Session

Kayla Desroches/KMXT

Both the Kodiak City Council and the Kodiak Borough Assembly will hold meetings tonight. The Borough Assembly will begin its work session at 7:30 p.m. and continue discussion of several unresolved issues from last week’s regular meeting, including a property tax ordinance for mobile homes.

Borough Manager Bud Cassidy said at last Thursday’s meeting that the ordinance would define what a mobile home is, require identification of the responsible party to pay mobile home property taxes, and require that any tax appeal be filed in the Kodiak courthouse.

“But the biggest change is in the accounting for mobile homes,” says Cassidy. “They’re considered real property just like a residence and are required to pay property tax. We’ve talked to you about how we’re having difficulty in collecting those taxes. Some of it is maybe folks don’t realize they have to pay the property tax, but in many cases, we’re having real difficulty in finding out the owners of the mobile home.”

The Borough Assembly will also talk about an ordinance to exempt commercial vessels from paying the one-dollar-a-foot tax which applies to boats over 20 feet.

The Borough assessor’s argument is it costs more to collect the information and manage paperwork than the amount the Borough collects from the tax. Assemblywoman Rebecca Skinner responded to one audience member’s reasons for opposing the ordinance and says it influenced her own doubts about the suggested changes.
“Previously part of the justification – and it’s right in the ordinance – for excluding the vessels was because of the severance tax collected on fish,” says Skinner. “But if the equity issue has more to do with equipment or boats that look more like equipment, construction equipment, that kind of thing, maybe we do need to look at that.”

The Borough Assembly meeting tonight will take place in the Borough Conference Room and be open for public comment.

Also at 7:30 p.m., the Kodiak City Council will hold its regular meeting in the Assembly Chambers. On the agenda are several requests for public property use, including for the Kodiak Garden Club’s annual plant sale and the Filipino-American Association of Kodiak’s fundraising dance for its basketball team travel costs.

The City Council will also announce its reception of a Distinguished Budget Presentation Award from the Government Finance Officers Association for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2014.

The memorandum in the agenda says the award “represents the highest form of recognition in governmental accounting and financial reporting.”

The City Council regular meeting is also open for public comment.

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