Matt Cooper

Budget Down, Mill Rate Down, Taxes Down

Jun 12, 2020
Robyne / KUAC

The mill rate for Fairbanks North Star Borough property taxpayer was set last night (June 11) by the borough assembly.

The Areawide Mill Rate will be 13.891. That means property taxpayers will contribute about $13.89 for every $1,000 dollars of their property value. For example, a $100,000 house would require a payment of $1,389 dollars in taxes. Last year’s was 13.892. This year’s rate is 1/1,000th less.

The assembly passed a budget on May 14. Debbie Brady, Chief Financial Officer, says the value of the property in the borough was underestimated and will bring in about $4 million dollars more in revenue for fiscal 2021. So at that May 14 meeting, the Assembly set aside $1.6 million for property taxes by the Fort Knox mine, which is arguing with the borough over property value, sent an extra $500,000 to the school district to help with pandemic expenses, and assigned $1.9 million back to the borough general fund’s unassigned fund balance, making the draw on fund balance about $5.6 million instead of $7.5 million.

“In accordance with the Assembly’s May 14th actions, the $1.6 million for fort Knox is set aside, $500,000 is going back to the school district, and the remaining $1.9 million is reducing the draw on the general fund’s unassigned fund balance.”

Assembly member Matt Cooper told citizens where to find the figures in borough documents.

“I just want to note for the public listening that Substitute Attachment A has the revised mill rate in it and keeps the mill rate almost the same, and actually very slightly less than last year.”

The borough budget is $140,568,829.  That is without the Road, Fire and other Service Areas. It still has to be reviewed and finalized by the borough’s Finance Department. Last year’s (FY 2020) budget was slightly higher at $141,941,342.

Tax bills go out on June 30, and the first installment is due by Sept. 1.


Isaac Solomon/Alaska Division of Forestry

The Fairbanks North Star Borough Assembly approved a resolution Thursday that established a task force that will put together a plan to deal with the impacts of climate change on the borough.


FNSB

The Fairbanks North Star Borough Assembly on Thursday approved a nearly $166 million budget for another year, after amending it to keep the Mary Siah Recreation Center open for the year and solid-waste transfer sites open seven days a week. The budget also allocates $50 million for the school district.


The Fairbanks North Star Borough Assembly approved a resolution Thursday stating it will provide at least $48 million to the school district in the coming school year. That’s $2 million less than district officials had requested. But the substitute resolution introduced by Matt Cooper is $7 million more than the $41 million called-for in an original minimum-funding measure introduced by Mayor Karl Kassel.

Tim Ellis/KUAC

The Fairbanks North Star Borough Assembly decided Monday to delay a plan to demolish the Mary Siah Recreation Center, proposed by Mayor Karl Kassel. Assembly members instead approved a measure that keeps the popular but aging rec center operating – if it passes engineering tests to be conducted over the next month.


Tim Ellis/KUAC

About a hundred people packed the Fairbanks North Star Borough Assembly chambers Thursday to declare they don’t want the borough to demolish the Mary Siah Recreation Center. They told Assembly members to reject Mayor Karl Kassel’s proposal to knock down the 68-year-old structure and they said the borough should instead fix it up and keep it operating.


www.oekosolve.ch

The Fairbanks North Star Borough Assembly on Thursday rejected an ordinance that would have added a type of air-pollution control device called electrostatic precipitators to the borough Air Quality program. But the sponsor and main supporter of the measure was OK with that.

Jeanne Olson

The Fairbanks North Star Borough Assembly approved a resolution Thursday that supports and authorizes testing of a type of air-pollution control technology that local advocates say will clean smoke from woodstoves and help improve the area’s air quality. The advocates say they hope the data they’ll develop through their testing will convince federal environmental regulators to include electrostatic precipitators on its list of EPA-approved technologies that could enable homeowners and businesses to continue operating their wood- or pellet stoves during burn bans.


Several residents of a North Pole neighborhood told Fairbanks North Star Borough Assembly members Thursday that they do not want a marijuana-growing business in the area. Their arguments swayed half the members, but that wasn’t enough to pass a measure that would’ve opposed state approval of a business license for the facility.


Fairbanks Rescue Mission

The Fairbanks North Star Borough Assembly on Thursday approved an ordinance that renames the borough Recycling Commission and broadens its scope. The new advisory panel would be rebranded as the Sustainability Commission, and the new name would reflect its increased mission to include promoting environmentally cleaner practices, renewable energy and food security.