Borough annual budget makes its debut

  • Wednesday, May 7, 2014 11:41pm
  • News

In its proposed fiscal year 2015 annual budget the Kenai Peninsula Borough is facing a $2.9 million funding gap, largely due to an increase in property tax exemptions.

Craig Chapman, borough director of finance introduced Assembly members to the annual budget during a finance committee meeting on Tuesday and said voters increased property tax exemptions from $20,000 to $50,000 in October 2013, which impacts the budget by $2.4 million.

While voters chose to increase property tax exemption, revenue from the tax is projected to be up slightly from last year.

Even with the decrease in revenues it will generate, property taxes is expected to be the biggest contributor to the general fund at $33 million.

Chapman said a decrease projected for taxable assessed values for real property is offset by an increase in assessed values oil and gas.

More oil and gas exploration in the borough has lead to an increase in assessed values from $699 million in 2012 to $1.142 billion in 2015.

The borough projects collecting $73 million total for its general fund budget — slightly more than FY2014.

Sales tax is also expected to bring in more general fund money than FY2014 at an estimated $30.56 million.

“Of course, with closing the river to (early run king salmon fishing), we don’t expect our increase to be quite as large as we originally forecasted, but we still see an increase overall,” Chapman said.

He said about 25 percent of all sales tax revenue is tourist related.

Total expenditures are up $1 million from last year. Contributing factors are school funding and personnel changes, according to the draft budget.

The borough estimates to spend about $74.4 million of its general fund.

Kenai Peninsula Borough School District is the largest fund expenditure at $49 million, which includes operations, capital projects and debt. It makes up about 66 percent of general fund expenditures.

The draft was finalized prior to the end of the Legislative session, so projected funding for education is based on last year’s numbers.

The Legislature passed House Bill 278 with increases to the Base Student Allocation formula well as one-time funding appropriations over the next three years. Both funding methods will be factored in to calculate local government contributions.

Borough Mayor Mike Navarre said the administration is going to work with KPBSD administrators to determine funding levels. He said the additional state funding will help significantly in closing the district’s deficit, so the borough is hopeful it won’t have to increase its general fund appropriation this fiscal year.

Last year the borough provided $43.5 million based on the state’s allocation.

After schools, the solid waste program is the next most expensive program the borough funds. General fund support is projected at nearly $6.5 million for FY2015, which has been decreasing annually since FY2011. Chapman said much of that decrease is due to waste from oil and gas activity.

The borough’s governmental funds are made up of the general fund, special revenue funds, debt service funds and capital project funds.

A public hearing on the budget is scheduled for June 3 at the next assembly meeting in Soldotna.

Kaylee Osowski can be reached at

More in News

The Seward welcome sign is photographed in July 2021. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)
Seward vice mayor and council member resigns

The council accept the resignation of Tony Baclaan during its Monday night meeting.

Ben Mohr watches Kenai River Junior Classic participants head out to fish on the Kenai River in Soldotna, Alaska, on Wednesday, Aug. 11, 2021. (Camille Botello / Peninsula Clarion)
Mohr resigns as director of KRSA

He has been the executive director of KRSA for nearly three years.

Heather and Hunter Phillips walk through the Kenai Community Library Haunted Hunt with their mom Kumi Phillips on Tuesday, Oct. 26, 2021. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)
Scary reads

Spooky literary characters come to life at Kenai library haunted house.

Alaska state Rep. Laddie Shaw, an Anchorage Republican, waits for the start of a so-called technical session on the House floor, Wednesday, Oct. 20, 2021, in Juneau, Alaska. The fourth special legislative session of the year began Oct. 4, in Juneau, but there has been little action at the Capitol and little progress toward resolving Alaska’s fiscal issues. (AP Photo/Becky Bohrer)
Special session plods on with little action

Many legislative offices have been dark and floor sessions in some cases have lasted seconds.

The Kenai Community Library health section is seen on Tuesday, Oct. 26, 2021. After the Kenai City Council postponed a vote to approve a grant funding health and wellness books, community members set up a GoFundMe to support the purchase of materials. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)
After cries of censorship, community raises funds for library

The Kenai City Council voted during its Oct. 20 meeting to postpone acceptance of a $1,500 grant for materials related to health and wellness.

This illustration provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in January 2020 shows the 2019 Novel Coronavirus. (CDC)
11 new deaths reported

Statewide there were 244 COVID-related hospitalizations as of Tuesday, with 37 of them on ventilators.

Rep. Don Young talks during a June 2021 interview with the Empire. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire File)
Young to face off with a Begich yet again

Young, 88, seemed unfazed by Begich’s entry into the race.

A remote galaxy captured by the Hubble Space Telescope is greatly magnified and distorted by the effects of gravitationally warped space. (Image via NASA)
Grant brings NASA to library

The grant supports science, technology, engineering, arts and math programming for patrons.

Most Read