BY JULIANNE STANFORD
The assembly discussed various proposed funding options suggest by the borough Finance Committee during a meeting on Aug. 2 as a way to pay for the construction of a senior center in Skagway.
Finance Committee Chair Assemblyman Dan Henry suggested that the project could be funded through an increase in the mill rate, or the figure that represents the amount per $1,000 of the assessed value for a property that is used to determine property taxes.
“If in fact the community is behind the senior center as a project to move forward, one option that we are looking to have in place ahead of time is a reflection of what the mill rate would have to be raised in the districts, as you see, in the different service areas, which the represents the amount of revenue needed for retiring a thirty year bond for the project,” Henry said.
If the mill rate were to be increased, Henry said local property owners would not feel an immediate impact from that change.
“[It] will not be something that would go in place regardless until June 30 of 2017, because then it would be fiscal year 18’s budget,” Henry said. “So the property tax bill that everybody would receive wouldn’t be until the next cycle, if in fact that is the choice that the assembly wishes to implement to retire the debt on the senior center.”
However, if the mill rate were to be increased, the municipality would have to act quickly to get the initiative on the ballot for voters to decide on later this month during the municipal elections.
“There are certainly other options out there, or I should say that there could be. We’re trying to explore all avenues, grant funding, what have you,” Henry said. “We can certainly talk about a sales tax increase, we can talk about a lot of things.”
The assembly unanimously voted to give Borough Clerk Emily Deach direction to write up a resolution that would put the potential bond initiative on the ballot. –