Bond proposition deserves support

  • Thursday, September 26, 2013 11:49am
  • News

Below are my personal views on two issues on the Oct. 1 ballot, based on my research and my years on both the school board and assembly.  

Regarding the $50,000 exemption, this exemption  will shift the tax. Let me explain. Yes, it will require 2/10ths of a mill to make up the borough loss, however, that only applies to the general government portion, it does not include the service areas. For south peninsula residents the combined mill increase needed, just to keep revenues the same, would be more than half a mill — for KESA, .16 mills; South Peninsula Hospital, .11; Road Service Area, .06;  and the General Government, .19 — for a total of .52. (On the eastern peninsula, Bear Creek Service Area and the Flood Service Area would see an increase of .81 mills.)

Keep in mind the increase will affect all real properties, raw land, business, rental and other commercial properties. They will see a significant tax increase. The property tax exemption increase only applies to residences, not businesses, and only to qualifying residents. It is a tax shift. I do not believe there will be adequate property value increases  to cover, especially for the service areas that must allow for increased costs as well. This is an issue each voter must weigh.

About the bond issue. I very, very strongly support this.  The borough has close to a billion dollars invested in buildings and school buildings. That investment must be protected. Just as you and I protect our investments in our homes, so too, the borough must act.   

There is a limit to the maintenance that can be done on a yearly basis, likewise with our homes. I believe it is the borough’s obligation to the public, who helped pay for these buildings. And don’t I wish, when I replace a 40-year-old roof, that someone would pay 70 percent of it?

It has been suggested by others that the Legislature might not fund it. That the Legislature must appropriate the funds each year is true, but they are obligated to do so every year. The PFD is “subject to appropriation.” It is a constitutional provision.

The Alaska Legislature authorizes the debt reimbursement program and qualifications in statute. The projects included on the bond have all been approved by the Department of Education, as it has statutory oversight. I have known this program since 1982, and can say the Legislature has never failed to fund the debt reimbursement program. 

Not only will passage of this bond proposition result in replacing some roofs that are more than 40 years old, but with additional insulation and more modern products, it is estimated the borough will save $250,000 in heating costs per year. To me, this is responsible stewardship of the borough facility assets. And we only pay 30 percent of it.

Please vote yes on ballot Proposition 2.

Milli Martin

More in News

The 2021 elections will be held Oct. 5.
Kenai Peninsula Borough School Board Q&A

On Tuesday, Oct. 5, elections will be held for Homer City Council,… Continue reading

The 2021 elections will be held Oct. 5.
Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly Q&A

On Tuesday, Oct. 5, elections will be held for Homer City Council,… Continue reading

The 2021 elections will be held Oct. 5.
Homer City Council candidate Q&A

On Tuesday, Oct. 5, elections will be held for Homer City Council,… Continue reading

Traffic moves north along the Sterling Highway shortly after a fatal crash closed the highway for several hours Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021. The state is seeking federal funding for a project aimed at improving safety along the Sterling Highway between mileposts 82.5 to 94, or between Sterling and Soldotna. (Photo by Erin Thompson/Peninsula Clarion)
State looks to federal funding for Sterling Highway project

The project is aimed at improving highway safety between Sterling and Soldotna.

Ethan Benton (left) and Laura Walters of Kodiak win the vaccine lottery for the Alaska Chamber's week one vaccine lottery giveaway "Give AK a Shot." (Screenshot)
State names winners in 1st vaccine lottery

A Valdez and Kodiak resident took home checks for $49,000 each.

Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion
A podium marks the beginning of a StoryWalk at Soldotna Creek Park on Tuesday, June 29, 2021 in Soldotna, Alaska. The project was discontinued in August due to vandalism.
Vandalism ends Soldotna library program

The StoryWalk was made possible by a $2,500 donation from the Soldotna Library Friends.

Juneau Empire file
The Coast Guard medevaced a 90-year-old suffering stroke-like symptoms near Ketchikan aboard a 45-foot response boat-medium like this one, seen in Juneau, on Thursday, Sept. 16, 2021.
Coast Guard medevacs man from yacht near Ketchikan

The 90-year-old suffered symptoms of a stroke.

James Varsos, also known as “Hobo Jim,” poses for a photo during the August 2016, Funny River Festival in Funny River, Alaska, in August 2016. (Peninsula Clarion file)
‘Hobo Jim’ opens up about recent terminal cancer diagnosis

Varsos was named Alaska’s official “state balladeer” in 1994.

Most Read