Reducing senior tax exemption would hurt nonprofits

This letter is in response to my friend Toby Burke’s letter last week in the Clarion. I’m one of those “Senior Citizens” that get helped by the borough and state through the senior property tax exemption. I also voted for Mike Navarre for mayor each time he has run for office. I find it very difficult to believe, first of all, that Toby Burke feels this way about the seniors in our borough. I also find it difficult to believe that our mayor would wait this long in his administration to make the many seniors that voted for him so disappointed in his actions. Alaska is well known, and especially here on the Kenai Peninsula, for our many nonprofits that our supported by these very same seniors you wish to phase out of the senior tax exemption.

With the oil companies cutting back on their support of our nonprofits, more and more support is going to be needed by these these nonprofits to exist. Because of this senior citizen tax break, we are able to support many of our nonprofits, thereby saving the Borough the difficult choice to pick and choose their favorites. The Food Bank, Kenai Watershed Forum, The Woman’s Shelter, our many churches and the needy that they take care of, and many, many more… If these exemptions are taken from the seniors, is the borough going to step in and take up the slack? I don’t think so…

At the start of the month, are you going to be the one at the door when the needy, both young and old, line up to get their monthly supply of food staples at the food bank, or at the door of the Fireweed Diner each weekday at noon when an average of 80–110 folks, again both young and old, show up to perhaps get the one good meal they’ll have all day, and tell them, “I’m so sorry, our donations have decreased and we have no food.”

You will be killing the goose that lays the golden eggs!