The Kodiak Island Borough Assembly discussed raising the region’s mill rate at its latest work session(1/25). The possible increase would support a request for more funding by the borough’s school district. The district’s asked for around $1.5 million more than last year.
It’s too early to know for certain how much the borough mill rate would go up next year, but if the proposed raise is incorporated into the current property tax, the borough would charge its residents 11.65 mills. Right now, the borough’s mill rate is 10.75 mills.
That’s a little less than an increase of 1 mill, but the borough’s assessor’s office is also projecting a two percent increase in property values across the region. So even if the assembly doesn’t raise property taxes, the public will still pay more this year.
Assemblyman Kyle Crow worries about putting more financial pressure on the region.
“Everything is getting more expensive here. It’s getting to be painful for some.”
It’s important to Crow that the borough has a good school system, but he wonders when does it become unsustainable.
“We want to provide the best quality of education. I have a granddaughter in school here and I certainly want to make sure that she gets the best quality of education she can get, but I also want to make sure she can live here too. And right now, her family is faced with leaving the community because you can’t afford the cost of housing and the cost of living.”
Assemblywoman Rebecca Skinner wants to hear more from the public to see if there is any interest in raising taxes to help the school district. She says so far she hasn’t heard any support.
“What I’m hearing is that people don’t want to pay increased taxes”
The borough assembly didn’t come to a conclusion on the issue at the meeting, but it will continue to discuss it as they work on the coming year’s budget.