Fairbanks officials content to sit on windfall

  • Sunday, September 6, 2015 9:50pm
  • News

FAIRBANKS (AP) — Officials with the Fairbanks North Star Borough will be content to sit on a $10 million windfall, for a while at least.

The money comes from an ongoing lawsuit from local governments and oil companies over the taxation values of the trans-Alaska pipeline, the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reported.

The Alaska Supreme Court last month affirmed the value of the pipeline for tax years 2007 through 2009.

Fairbanks North Star Borough officials say they plan to save the money. It could be used to address overdue building maintenance or to cover shortfalls in state money for public education.

“Anything other than saving it at this time doesn’t make good sense,” Kathryn Dodge, chairwoman of the assembly finance committee, said.

This is the second judgment in the ongoing lawsuit over taxes on the pipeline. The borough received $7.8 million last year, and that was earmarked to fund a line of credit for the Interior Gas Utility.

WIth the latest settlement funds, outgoing Mayor Luke Hopkins will recommend borough officials put some money in reserves and use the rest to fix schools and municipal buildings.

“There are long-term maintenance needs that we should be addressing,” Hopkins said.

Janice Golub is among some assembly members favoring spending some of the money on education, especially if the state again reduces funding for public education.

“I wouldn’t be in any hurry to spend it,” she said. “If anything, I would put some toward education if we can.”

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