Tonight June 5, 2017, between 5 pm and 7 pm we were updated about the tax increases by the KPB that will be discussed and voted upon tomorrow evening. The tax increases, without reducing the costs of operation for the borough, are expected to be implemented in the upcoming budget. We talked about the increase in property tax, as well the increase in months of sales tax collection. We also discussed the status of the service area along the Sterling Highway. Also discussed was the candidates we will see on the ballot in October for Assembly seats.
As a group the conscientious is these is no basis for tax increases. The .5 mill rate increase on property tax and the increase of months sales are collected are just an effort to maintain the current level of expenses without any effort to reduce those expenses. The group of us that met tonight are generally opposed to tax increases without serious consideration of reduction in expenses. Although we understand that much of the operating expenses are driven by long term public employee union contracts both KPB employees and KPBSD employers, without considerable research there is no clarity as to what can actually be reduced. The three main budget drivers are the KPBSD and KPB employee contracts as well as the increase in cost of doing business generally.
It was mentioned tonight that the general public will have opportunity to question the borough administration about these increases tomorrow night at the KPB Assembly meeting as well as, June 14 at the Kenai/Soldotna Chamber of Commerce at the Kenai Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center there on the Spur Highway. An RSVP would be good as there is limited space, so get on board early to ask the questions you have.
Considerable thought was put into discussion about candidates for KPB assembly seats we will see on the October ballot. There is need to find a candidate to run from the Sterling area. There are candidates or incumbents for most of the other seats but not for the Sterling seat. If you think of anyone, please encourage them to become involved.