Tyson Cox, left, speaks during a meeting of the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly on Tuesday, April 19, 2022, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)

Tyson Cox, left, speaks during a meeting of the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly on Tuesday, April 19, 2022, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)

Assembly approves annual budget, mill rate decrease

The budget was unanimously approved last week

Kenai Peninsula Borough property owners will pay less in property taxes this year following last week’s approval of a mill rate decrease by the borough assembly. Assembly members during the same June 7 meeting approved the borough’s budget for the upcoming fiscal year, which begins on July 1, 2022, and ends on June 30, 2023.

In all, the borough is projecting about $160 million in revenues for fiscal year 2023. The borough is projecting general fund revenues of about $88.4 million and general fund expenditures of about $94.8 million. Most of the money in the borough’s general fund — about 66% — is expected to go toward education, including for operating costs, debt service and capital projects.

Also approved last week by assembly members was a mill rate decrease, from 4.7 to 4.5. Mill rates are used to figure out how much someone will pay in property taxes during a certain fiscal year. To calculate how much property tax they expect to pay, an individual must divide the mill rate by 1,000 and then multiply that by their property’s taxable value.

About half of the Kenai Peninsula Borough’s revenues for the upcoming fiscal year are expected to come from property taxes, while another 25% is expected to come from sales taxes. All of the borough’s sales tax revenue goes toward funding KPBSD schools. The borough this year also funded the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District to the maximum amount at just over $52.5 million, which includes in-kind services.

Assembly member Cindy Ecklund, who represents the eastern peninsula, successfully amended the budget to increase the amount of money made available for the borough’s Senior Citizens Grant Program by 10% and to add $200,000 to the borough’s Road Service Area Board for dust control.

Assembly members also approved an additional $50,000 for the borough’s planning commission budget for the survey and documentation of trespass and encroachment issues.

Also described in the budget as new initiatives are boosts to the borough’s cybersecurity infrastructure, a comprehensive review of borough code by the legal department and continued collaboration by the borough with the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities for the Cooper Landing Bypass Project.

The borough assembly’s full June 7 meeting, as well as a copy of the fiscal year 2023 budget, can be found on the borough’s website at kpb.us.

Reach reporter Ashlyn O’Hara at ashlyn.ohara@peninsulaclarion.com.

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