City council moves budget forward to its final vote

Mitch Borden/KMXT

At its regular meeting on Thursday, the Kodiak City Council quietly moved its budget, for the coming year, forward to its final vote. This budget will keep the City of Kodiak’s mill rate where’s its been since the 1980’s, even though an earlier version would’ve increased property taxes.

All council members present at the meeting approved the budget, but a few of them have some doubts. Originally, the city planned to double its mill rate to four mills in order to generate more revenue to maintain Kodiak’s aging infrastructure. But, the council decided unanimously now wasn’t a good time to increase taxes.

Councilman Gabe Saravia isn’t sure about that though and, at a recent work session, he said raising taxes will never be popular, but it’s what Kodiak needs.

“In the 15 years I have been on the council there has never been a good time to raise taxes. And nothing changes, I hear the same arguments every single time. That the town going to be dry. That the town is going to be broke. That the people will have no money. And most of the time the people who come out to complain is the people who have the bigger houses or the better jobs.”

Saravia isn’t the only person on the council that thinks the mill rate should be increased. Councilman Charlie Davidson does as well, but he says voting against the budget in its current form will cause more trouble than good.

“To delay it any further puts more and more time on staff and there are so many other things that have to be taken care of.”

The city council will hold a public hearing and its final vote on Kodiak’s budget for the fiscal year 2019 at its next regular meeting.

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